Newsletter

Over the River and Through the Court to Grandmother’s House We Go

Posted by on Jun 9, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

A recently decided Wisconsin Supreme Court case has made it easier (slightly) for grandparents, great-grandparents and stepparents to receive court-ordered visitation of their grandchildren, great-grandchildren or step-children. The case of In re Marriage of Meister, 367 Wis. 2d 447 (2016) removed a previously held rule that a grandparent, great-grandparent, or stepparent needed to prove a parent-child relationship in order to secure visitation rights under Wisconsin Statute §767.43(1). The statute provides that certain people can apply to a...

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To Gift or Not to Gift…That is the Question

Posted by on Apr 21, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

A gift is defined in the dictionary as: “something given voluntarily without payment in return, as to show favor toward someone, honor an occasion, or make a gesture of assistance; present.” That definition makes a whole lot of sense. Think of gifts that you’ve received for your birthday, Christmas, or your anniversary. A box with a bow or an envelope with money in it, are the types of gifts that everyone understands. Describing these gifts would not make for a very informative article. The gifts I’m interested in telling you...

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Leave a Dog a Bone

Posted by on Mar 31, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Something that not a lot of people think about, even very serious animal lovers, is what happens to your pet after you pass away? As with most estate planning issues, the answer is: it is up to you. If you do nothing, a pet is considered under Wisconsin law to be personal property, and would be treated like a piece of furniture or that antique clock that everyone has their eye on. In some cases, there is a beneficiary willing to adopt your pet, or find a good home. In other cases, there is not. When that occurs, pets often are shuttled to...

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Playing Keep Away: Exempt Assets

Posted by on Mar 6, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Efficient planning for Medicaid qualification often feels like a game of “keep away”. What is the State going to be able to keep, and what can a person keep safe? One of the most important ways to plan for Medicaid qualification is determining which assets, if any, are exempt from inclusion in a person’s assets, or in the assets that a spouse is able to retain. Many people don’t understand what can be retained, and what doesn’t count at all when making an application for Medicaid. The most commonly exempt assets for a single...

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The Probate Boogeyman

Posted by on Feb 7, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

A common theme we hear from our estate planning clients is, “I hear Probate is terrible, and I want to avoid it”. Most of the time, after further discussing the client’s wants and needs, it becomes obvious the person didn’t have any idea what probate was, or why they should or shouldn’t be afraid of it. Probate is the Court-supervised legal process by which the “Probate” Court determines that a decedent’s will is valid, determines who will be in charge of administering the estate (in Wisconsin that person is called a...

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TRUMPCARE?

Posted by on Jan 4, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Donald Trump is set to be inducted as the 45th President of the United States on January 20, 2017. One of the things he has pledged to do is repeal the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”). The actual plan is currently unknown, but it can be safely assumed that something will change. The Affordable Care Act is a tremendously complex set of legislation and executive orders, and trying to discuss every aspect of what might change is a fool’s errand. I want to touch on possible changes to Medicaid. Medicaid is the program whereby the...

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What is Elder Law?

Posted by on Dec 13, 2016 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

As someone who practices in the area of “Elder Law” I am often asked. What is elder law? The purpose of this article is to answer that question. Elder Law generally describes the clients that an elder law attorney works with: people on various spectrums of the aging process, and their families. An Elder Law attorney uses a collaborative approach, working with other professionals to ensure that a client’s unique needs are being met. This includes working with financial advisors, CPAs, banks, trust companies, insurance agents, medical...

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The “Cool Parents” Win

Posted by on Dec 1, 2016 in News | 0 comments

An interesting case was decided recently, on an issue that most Wisconsinites have dealt with either as a young person growing up in the state, or as a parent.  Wisconsin Courts decided that until the State Legislature says otherwise, adults are allowed to allow underage drinking parties at their homes.  (There could still potentially be liability for the aftermath of said parties, but that is a topic for a different article). Currently, state statute does not allow a county or municipality to legislate on alcoholic beverages unless the law...

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Lifetime Achievement Award

Posted by on Dec 1, 2016 in News | 0 comments

Congratulations to Bert Liebmann for his receipt of the Brown County Bar Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award for 2016! Each year, the Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes a member of the Brown County Bar Association who meets the following criteria: • At least 25 years of legal experience; • Currently practices or has practiced in Brown County; • Has exhibited long-term excellence as an attorney; and • Has affected the legal system and community in a unique and positive manner. We are proud to have Bert as part of our team at...

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Medicaid Planning: Don’t Let the Nursing Home Get All Your Money

Posted by on Nov 4, 2016 in News | 0 comments

Medicaid Planning is a complex, and ever-changing exercise.  If you’re like many estate planning clients that I have met, I bet you “don’t want the nursing home to get all your money.”  There are many ways that Medicaid planning can be accomplished to make sure your heirs inherit your estate, rather than having those funds paid to a long-term care facility. While planning ahead with a solid estate plan is perhaps the most important aspect of Medicaid planning, the application and qualification process for Medical Assistance is very...

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