It is estimated that more than 90% of all information created today is stored electronically. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were amended in 2006 to address such electronically stored information, or “ESI”. Effective January 1, 2011, the Wisconsin Rules of Civil Procedures also are being amended to address ESI and confirm that discovery of […]

The President has signed into law the new tax legislation which recently passed through Congress. Generally, the new tax law extends the existing tax rates for two more years, provides a two percent reduction in the payroll tax, and increases the estate tax exemption to $5 million.

The term “buy-sell agreement” means any legally enforceable arrangement by and among a business entity or its owners prescribing limitations on the ability to own and to transfer equity interests. It is the linchpin between a business succession plan and the estate plans of the owners in determining the future ownership and control of a […]

In keeping with the ghostly time of year, I submit the following legal advice for home sellers. The old rule of “buyer beware” has been eroded over the years by court cases involving less than candid sellers and disappointed buyers. These days, the basic rule in home sales is disclosure. A seller is expected and, […]

Prenuptial Agreements are paradoxical. On one hand, you have a couple who is about to marry and commit to spend the rest of their lives with each other. On the other hand, the couple signs an agreement that spells out what legally happens when a divorce occurs. This paradox can produce tension and anxiety. Prenuptial […]

On September 23rd the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5297 Bill that provides tax breaks and other incentives to businesses. It is anticipated that the bill previously passed by the Senate, will be signed into law shortly. Some of the key provisions of the legislation are as follows: Capital gains exclusion. The bill temporarily increases […]

The grantor retained annuity trust (GRAT) has been a staple vehicle for estate planning since it was first introduced twenty years ago by the Revenue Reconciliation Act of 1990. A GRAT can effectively transfer property from a grantor to a beneficiary, while greatly reducing the amount of tax the grantor would otherwise owe on the […]

A recent Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruling makes clear that an employer’s obligation under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to provide employees with a discrimination-free workplace takes precedence over patient or customer preferences regarding the race of employees from whom they receive services. The court held, in Chaney v. Plainfield […]

For the first time in nearly 100 years, extremely wealthy individuals who pass away this year will leave enormous estates to friends and family tax-free. Since 1916, the estates of America’s wealthiest individuals have been subject to a federal estate tax. Over the years the minimum value has fluctuated, but the tax has remained in […]

In Wisconsin, any person of sound mind who is at least eighteen years old is presumed capable of making a will. A will should be created voluntarily and express how the testator desires his or her property to be distributed upon death. However, when another person’s influence over the testator becomes so strong it overpowers […]