This is the first of a series of three articles on undue influence in Wisconsin. Unscrupulous people sometimes use undue influence to change wills and obtain gifts from the elderly, sick, or weak. Increasingly, the public has come to realize this is a form of elder abuse. Undue influence cases involve predominantly factual determinations and […]

It has been estimated that over 90% of all business information today is created electronically. Use of social networking websites, such as Facebook, on-line photography accounts like Flicker, e-mail passwords and word processing files, is increasingly more common. Various media commentators have addressed the need for individuals to consider their electronic data and on-line postings […]

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 […]

The Homebuyer Tax Credit is scheduled to expire soon. To take advantage of the tax credit, homebuyers must enter into a binding contract to purchase a home before May 1, 2010, and they must close on the home before July 1, 2010. Not surprisingly, many unmarried couples have sought to take advantage of the tax […]

Effectively drafting estate plans for married individuals with children from a prior marriage can be a challenge. Failure to properly plan can cause divisive family disputes. There are many variables to be considered and competing interests that need to be balanced when preparing an appropriate plan. A common concern is that the spouses want to […]

Back in 2001, Congress passed the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (EGTRRA). While many provisions of EGTRRA have been acutely focused on by planners since that time, one provision has received little attention until recently. Under Section 511(e) of EGTRRA, Section 2511(c) of the Internal Revenue Code was added and provides that for […]

The Wisconsin State Senate unanimously approved a bill to allow residents of all income levels to convert a Traditional IRA into a Roth IRA without penalty. The Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee also approved the measure and the State Assembly will vote on the bill soon. This legislation has been strongly encouraged by financial and tax […]

Chapter 815 of the Wisconsin Statutes provides that certain personal assets are exempt from judgment creditors, and these exemptions can be claimed by individuals when they file federal bankruptcy. Likewise, the federal Bankruptcy Code [11 U.S.C. Section 522(d)] also provides an alternative set of exemptions that the individual can claim instead of using the Wisconsin […]