Newsletter

Dueling Estate, Gift, and Generation Skipping Transfer Tax Senate Bills

Posted by on Mar 15, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Earlier this year, two very different bills relating to the federal estate, gift, and generation skipping transfer (GST) taxes were introduced in the United States Senate. On January 17, 2019, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) introduced a bill that would reduce the federal estate, gift, and GST tax rates to a flat rate of 20%.  Under current law, these transfers are subject to a progressive tax rate that maxes out at 40% for transfers in excess of $1 million (subject to the federal lifetime exemption amount of $10 million, as adjusted for...

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Disabled individuals are now ABLE to save – Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) accounts

Posted by on Mar 4, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

In 2016, the Wisconsin legislature adopted federal legislation allowing Wisconsin residents to participate in ABLE programs administered by other states (Wisconsin does not administer its own ABLE program). An ABLE account is a tax-advantaged savings account for the benefit of a blind or disabled individual. Importantly, the owner of an ABLE account does not lose his or her eligibility for means-tested government benefits such as Medicaid and Social Security, even if the balance of his or her ABLE account exceeds the asset limitation in place...

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New year, new estate plan?

Posted by on Jan 8, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

As we begin 2019, consider adding a review of your estate plan to your list of New Year’s resolutions. For most people, it is appropriate to review your estate plan every two to three years, or whenever a life-altering event occurs (e.g., marriage, divorce, a significant change in job or health, birth or adoption of a child). In addition, the following are a few non-tax reasons to review your estate planning documents: Children Need Powers of Attorney.  Any child of yours that has attained the age of 18 since you implemented your estate...

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Fireside Chats During the Holiday Season

Posted by on Dec 18, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

As the holidays approach and families gather together, topics like long-term care and estate planning are likely to be the last thing on your mind.  However, the holidays are the perfect opportunity to discuss these difficult issues with your loved ones.  For older relatives, it is important to discuss whether he or she has planned for future incapacity and/or assisted living or nursing home care needs. In addition, if you and your older family members already have existing advance health care directives and powers of attorney for finance in...

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Evan Y. Lin Named to the 2018 Wisconsin Super Lawyers List

Posted by on Nov 19, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Evan Y. Lin, an attorney and managing member of Lin Law LLC, has been named to the 2018 Wisconsin Super Lawyers list by the publishers of Super Lawyers® Magazine.  Each year, only 5% of attorneys in Wisconsin are named a Super Lawyer.  Evan was previously named to the 2015, 2016 and 2017 Wisconsin Super Lawyer list and was also named five times to the Wisconsin Rising Star list in Estate Planning and Probate by the same publication. Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a...

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Up the river without a paddle – is one power of attorney as good as the next?

Posted by on Nov 15, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Not all powers of attorney are created equal.  When planning for future incapacity, particularly if you anticipate requiring governmental benefits such as Medicaid, it is important that your financial power of attorney provide your agent(s) with all the powers he or she might need to provide for your elder law or special needs objectives.  These powers may include, but are not limited to, the ability to: -          Create and fund revocable, irrevocable, or supplemental needs trusts; -          Make gifts above the annual...

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We get by with a little help from our friends – Supported Decision-Making Agreements for functionally impaired adults.

Posted by on Nov 5, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

In April 2018, the Wisconsin State Legislature passed legislation to create Chapter 52 of the Wisconsin Statutes, authorizing the use of Supported Decision-Making Agreements in the State of Wisconsin.   Wis. Stat. § 52.01(6) defines “supported decision-making” as “a process of supporting and accommodating an adult with a functional impairment to enable the adult to make life decisions… without impeding the self-determination of the adult.” Accordingly, a Supported Decision-Making Agreement can authorize the principal’s supporter...

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Medicare vs. Medicaid: Do you know the difference?

Posted by on Oct 1, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

When speaking about public benefits, people often confuse Medicare and Medicaid.  After all, they do basically the same thing, right?  Not exactly… Medicare is available to all individuals age 65 and older, in addition to chronically disabled individuals of any age, irrespective of resources (i.e., assets).  It is federally administered and beneficiaries are often responsible for co-pays and premium payments.  Medicare has four parts, each providing distinct benefits: 1.       Part A (Hospital Insurance) – provides coverage for...

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What is guardianship and how do you avoid it?

Posted by on Aug 23, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Guardianship is a court procedure in which an individual is appointed to make certain decisions for another person (the “ward”). The purpose of a guardianship is to protect or assist an individual who, due to mental incapacity, is unable to make decisions, defend him or herself against exploitation, or otherwise provide for his or her needs. The proposed ward may require a guardian of the estate and/or a guardian of the person.  A guardian of the estate handles the ward’s financial matters, similar to a power of attorney for finances,...

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Special Needs Trusts

Posted by on Aug 2, 2018 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Are you planning to leave assets to a disabled beneficiary upon your death?  If so, consider establishing a special needs trust (“SNT,” also known as a supplemental needs trust) for your beneficiary’s benefit. An SNT is an irrevocable trust (i.e., the trust cannot be revoked or amended) established for the benefit of a disabled individual and managed by a trustee.  Because the trust is not owned by the beneficiary, the trust assets can be used to provide for the disabled person’s needs over and above the essential primary care...

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