Property Law

For years, by including language in account agreements, banks have been able to apply funds deposited at their institution – funds that would otherwise be controlled by the account holder’s payable on death (POD) designation – directly to a decedent’s outstanding debt owed to that institution, without any need to file a claim (in court or in otherwise).

The following is an example of such a set-off provision, which may be found in an account agreement:
Upon the
Continue Reading Why Your Clients’ PODs at Banks May Be Ineffective

On November 1, 2021, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Committee on Environmental Assessment, Risk Management and Corrective Action (ASTM Committee E-50) approved a new standard for conducting Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs). The new standard, known as “E1527-21 – Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process,” which was published by ASTM in November 2021, makes significant modifications to the previous ASTM Phase I Standard Practice (E1527-13) that has been in
Continue Reading The New ASTM E1527-21 Standard Practice for Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESA)

As the end of 2021 looms closer, COVID-19 still dominates the conversation as to health care, including health care real estate. And many of the pandemic-related challenges have not changed. The staffing, supply and hospital-bed shortages that health care providers and real estate developers hoped were temporary are now long-term issues that will reshape hospital real estate and development projects well into 2022.
1. Inpatient Facility Expansion
According to the American Hospital Association, 20 percent of the approximately 5,000
Continue Reading Three Trends in Health Care Real Estate (November 2021)

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Of all the TV attorneys out there, Jackie Chiles is my favorite. Close second, of course, is Denny Crane, but Jackie certainly takes the top prize. Jokes aside, the title of today’s post is “Your Face, is My Case,” because we’re talking about likeness and image rights, sometimes collectively referred to as “personality rights.”

From Wikipedia: “Personality rights, is the right of an individual to control the commercial use of one’s identity, such as name, image, likeness,
Continue Reading Your Face, is My Case: Personality Rights

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has further refined the standard for what is a continuation of a legal non-conforming use.  In Village of Slinger vs. Polk Properties, LLC  the Court, in a unanimous decision, set a clear standard to judge a municipality’s effort to enforce the abandonment of a legal non-conforming use.

Non-conforming uses, or structures, are created when a rezoning of a parcel takes place, causing the current use to not conform with the new zoning designation placed on
Continue Reading What Constitutes the Continuation of a Legal Non-Conforming Use

Easements can and do expire in Wisconsin as a matter of law. Even if they are “perpetual.” Even if they are in use. Even if they provide access.
Consider This Scenario
Jill owns Parcel A on First Street. The neighboring parcel on First Street, Parcel B, is owned by Frank. Jill’s driveway is located primarily on Parcel B, pursuant to a perpetual driveway easement. The driveway is the only means of accessing Jill’s garage, located behind her house.

Continue Reading Dealing with the Expiring Perpetual Easement Problem

Are you are a Wisconsin taxpayer who has objected to the payment of property taxes at the local Board of Review this year? If so, and you received a full hearing deciding the merits of your objection, then it is time to consider filing an excessive assessment claim if you have not already done so.

If you find yourself in this position, this is yet another procedural step you must take if you wish to further contest your claim
Continue Reading Like Clockwork: Time to File Wisconsin Excessive Assessment Claims

Every fall most estate planning professionals start looking for the release of the annual Revenue Procedure that announces federal inflation-adjusted numbers for the coming year. These include the estate tax applicable exemption amount, the gift tax annual exclusion, and the income tax rates, among others.For the first time, this past year also brought us a state number to look for.
July 1, 2019, marked the fifth anniversary of the effective date of our new trust code, Wis. Stat. chapter
Continue Reading Determining the Inflation Adjusted Amount for Termination of an Uneconomic Trust

“Transferring your copyrights to this living trust will activate the copyright termination right.”

Estate planning professionals who have never uttered those words may inadvertently have thwarted their clients’ objectives.

The copyright termination right (17 USC 203) can be little known among lawyers who don’t practice copyright law, yet it can alter the course of estate and marital property plans. Simply put, the termination right permits authors to terminate lifetime grants of any right under a copyright, and
Continue Reading Copyrights in the Estate? Termination Right Planning a Must

When is a cow not a cow? When it is part of a herd at a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO), which means that the cow is actually 1.4 “animal units.”
A CAFO generally involves a farm operation with more than 500 animal units. CAFOs are mega farms, and have more in common with industrial uses than family farm operations.
CAFOs create large volumes of animal waste that needs to be stored, transported and disposed of. Housing so many
Continue Reading Who Is Your Neighbor? Buyers Should Beware When Purchasing Rural Property

Many parents worry about how their children are going to be able to afford college. Therefore, it has become relatively common for parents to fund 529 plans in order to save for their children’s college education.Parents can receive a Wisconsin income tax deduction for their contributions to Wisconsin’s 529 plan, limited to $3,200 per year per child for 2018. In addition, any distributions from a 529 plan that are used for qualified education expenses can be taken out tax
Continue Reading ABLE Accounts: Saving for Children with Disabilities

On Dec. 22, 2017, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act (Act) was signed into law.

Two major changes made by the Act impact charitable contributions for tax years between Dec. 31, 2017, and Jan. 1, 2026 (the effective period for the Act):

  • The standard deduction was increased to $24,000 for married couples (filing jointly) and to $12,000 for individuals.
  • Itemized deductions for state and local taxes (SALT) are limited to $10,000 per year.

com bjkalscheur michaelbest Brad Kalscheur, Marquette
Continue Reading Charitable Planning after the 2017 Tax Act

Firearms require special consideration in an estate or revocable living trust administration, especially for a personal representative or trustee who does not own or have a general familiarity with firearms. This article is intended as a practical guide for the uninitiated.

For sake of brevity, subsequent references to executor include a personal representative and the trustee of a revocable living trust.

Step 1. Check and Secure

This is second nature to most firearm owners, but its importance cannot be
Continue Reading Handling Firearms in an Estate or Trust Administration

In 2017 Wisconsin Act 67 (effective Nov. 28, 2017), the legislature has enacted new statutory provisions affecting local governments’ consideration of conditional use permit (CUP) applications.


These provisions appear to have been adopted as a response to the Wisconsin Court of Appeals’ 2016 decision in AllEnergy Corp. v. Trempealeau County Environmental & Land Use Committee, which upheld the county’s denial of a CUP for the mining and transport of silica sand used for hydraulic “fracking.”

com MPeranteau
Continue Reading Legislature Enacts New Standards for Conditional Use Permits

Benjamin Franklin is credited with the oft-repeated saying, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”

This statement is very realistic in its application to the long-term ownership and management of family properties. Many clients have fond memories of time spent with their families at the family property, whether that property is farmland, hunting land, or a cottage. Clients envision their children continuing the traditions that they formed together at the family property.

com mkampmann ruderware Melissa
Continue Reading Imperative: Succession Planning for the Family Property