Estate Planning

Due to the rising costs of education, many Americans are looking for ways to fund the educational expenses of their children and grandchildren.

In 2023, Congress overhauled the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (“FAFSA”) and the Department of Education’s process for awarding federal student aid, which has taken effect for the 2024–25 award year. These changes included a simplified form, removal of the sibling discount, introduction of a new eligibility formula, modified family and aid considerations, and expanded
Continue Reading How Can You Help Pay for Your Student’s Education?

Irrevocable Grantor Trusts (IGTs) have been a popular tool for estate planning. They help you reduce estate taxes, avoid probate, and distribute assets according to your wishes. But a new IRS ruling (Revenue Ruling 2023-2) throws a wrench into things. Let’s break down what this means for you.
What are Irrevocable Grantor Trusts (IGTs)?
Think of an IGT as a locked box. You put assets in the box (like stocks or cash), and a trustee manages them according to
Continue Reading Irrevocable Grantor Trusts: IRS Ruling May Affect Your Estate Plan

Reasons to start estate planning this Spring are all about getting a fresh start! Spring has sprung! The birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, and there’s a fresh sense of renewal in the air. It’s the perfect time to tackle that spring cleaning list, but what if we told you there’s an even more important kind of cleaning to consider?

Reasons to Start Estate Planning this Spring
This spring, why not focus on cleaning up your future and ensuring
Continue Reading Spring into Action: 7 Reasons to Start Estate Planning Now

This article is the first in a new series: I’m interviewing elder law attorneys around the state to find out why and how they started practicing elder law, what their practices are like, and what they achieve for their clients.

My first interview is with Blaine Patino of Canellos & Patino in Wauwatosa. Blaine was recently a presenter at the Winter Workshop put on by the Wisconsin chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA).

I
Continue Reading ‘A Little Rebellious:’ Blaine Patino and his Elder Law Practice

Wills and trusts may seem like just documents to some, but they are the foundation of protecting your legacy. Estate planning can feel overwhelming, especially when terms like “wills” and “trusts” get thrown around. You know you want to ensure your loved ones are taken care of after you’re gone, but navigating these legal tools can be confusing.
That’s where an estate planning attorney comes in. Wills and trusts drafted by an estate planning attorney will be crafted to
Continue Reading Wills and Trusts: How an Estate Planning Attorney Can Help

A Spousal Lifetime Access Trust (SLAT) may be a tool that you need in your estate planning to stay ahead of taxes. In the world of estate planning, the landscape is ever-changing, with tax laws and regulations in constant flux. Recent proposals to alter federal estate and gift tax exemptions serve as a stark reminder of the importance of proactive planning. For couples seeking to secure their financial future while preserving access to their assets, one option worth considering
Continue Reading What is a Spousal Lifetime Access Trust (SLAT)?

How do you preserve generational wealth? In today’s fast-paced world, where financial stability and security are paramount concerns, building generational wealth has become a significant goal for many families. Generational wealth isn’t just about accumulating riches for oneself; it’s about ensuring that those assets are preserved and passed down to future generations. At Lexern Law Group, we understand the importance of this endeavor and recognize the pivotal role that estate planning plays in safeguarding your legacy for years to
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Life insurance in estate planning is a crucial aspect of financial management often overlooked or delayed by many individuals. Yet, it holds significant importance in securing the future for your loved ones and ensuring your assets are distributed according to your wishes. Among the myriad tools available for estate planning, life insurance stands out as a versatile and powerful instrument. In this blog post, we delve into the vital role of life insurance in estate planning and why it’s
Continue Reading Leveraging Life Insurance in Estate Planning

Making your estate plan tax efficient may not be in the forefront of your mind when it comes to thinking about your legacy. But with the right planning, you’ll be able to make your estate plan tax efficient, saving your assets for future generations. Estate planning is not merely about passing on your assets; it’s also about ensuring that your loved ones receive as much of your estate as possible. One crucial aspect often overlooked is tax efficiency. Taxes
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In December 2022, Congress enacted the SECURE 2.0 Act as part of its efforts to encourage Americans to focus on savings, both for retirement and for emergencies. Two of the provisions of SECURE 2.0 – related to automatic portability programs that facilitate transfers between employers and for pension-linked emergency savings accounts (“PLESAs”) – are now the subject of Department of Labor guidance. This guidance provides employers some key insights into how these optional provisions will work in practice, and
Continue Reading DOL Issues SECURE 2.0 Guidance on PLESAs and Automatic Portability

Updating your will after divorce is a crucial step in your new chapter. Divorce is not just the end of a marriage; it marks the beginning of a new chapter in life. Amidst the emotional and logistical adjustments, it’s crucial to address practical matters, including updating or initiating an estate plan. While often overlooked, this step is vital to ensure your assets are distributed according to your wishes and to protect your loved ones. You may not want your
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Estate planning for couples is a great topic for you and your partner this Valentine’s Day! Valentine’s Day is not just about chocolates and roses; it’s also a perfect time for couples to consider building a lasting legacy together through estate planning. While conversations about wills and trusts might not seem romantic, they are crucial for ensuring your loved one’s future security and peace of mind.
Estate Planning for Couples at Any Stage
Here are some essential estate planning
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Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts may alleviate heavy tax burdens on your estate. Are you aware your life insurance policy may bring a heavy tax burden along with it? Many individuals and families are unaware of how their life insurance policies may affect their estate plans, especially those with significant wealth. But fear not, there’s a solution that might just alleviate this stress: Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILITs) and Crummey Letters.

Let’s break it down into simpler terms.
What’s an
Continue Reading Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts Make Your Estate Tax Efficient

Estate planning and retirement might seem like two separate financial matters, but they are intricately linked, forming the foundation of your financial security and legacy. While retirement planning focuses on ensuring you have enough funds to live comfortably after you stop working, estate planning addresses how your assets will be managed and distributed both during your lifetime and after your passing. In this guide, we’ll explore the essential connection between estate planning and retirement and provide actionable steps to
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In an increasingly digital age, our lives are intricately woven into the fabric of the online world. From financial accounts to cherished memories captured on social media, our digital footprint holds a significant part of our legacy. Yet, many individuals overlook the importance of including digital assets in their estate planning. Let’s explore why safeguarding your digital assets is crucial and how to ensure they are part of your comprehensive estate plan.

1. Understanding Digital Assets:

Digital assets encompass
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A smooth transition for your family, when the time comes, is the most important gift you can give. This holiday season as we settle in for time with family and loved ones, it’s also a time to reflect on what truly matters, including the well-being and security of our family’s future. In the spirit of giving, this holiday season, let’s consider a gift that may not come wrapped with a bow but could be one of the most significant
Continue Reading A Smooth Transition for Your Family: The Ultimate Gift