Real Property Probate & Trust Law Section | State Bar of Wisconsin​

The Real Property Probate & Trust Law Section provides a forum for the discussion of questions pertaining to the law of real property, trusts and probate. The section examines the law in these fields, monitors and recommends legislation, and generally assists the members in problems affecting the subjects of the section. Section members serve on committees to develop legislation, practice forms, and procedures, and CLE in numerous related areas of law, including estate planning. The section has a listserv, publishes a newsletter, and developed the Handbook for Personal Representatives.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

The State Bar of Wisconsin offers its members the opportunity to network with other lawyers who share a common interest through its 24 sections. Learn more at http://www.wisbar.org/groups.

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 701. Wis. Stat. section 701.0414   addresses the termination of an uneconomic trust, and the threshold for determining which trusts…
“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 reclaim ownership of the rights so transferred. We’re talking about any lifetime grant. It could be a grant of copyright from…
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 animals can create offensive odors and attract flies. CAFO operations also require intense truck traffic to transport feed, bedding sand, animal…
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 free. Saving for a Child’s Future Parents with a disabled child may also wish to save money for their child’s…
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 1995, is a partner with Michael Best & Friedrich LLP in Milwaukee, where he has more than 22 years of experience…
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 understated. Firearms should always be stored unloaded and in a different location from the ammunition, although guns kept by a decedent…
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. Background 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 WheelerLaw Mary Beth Peranteau, U.W. 1996, is a shareholder with Wheeler, Van Sickle & Anderson, S.C., in Madison, in its land and…
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 S. Kampmann, U.W. 2003, is a shareholder in Ruder Ware’s, Trusts & Estates Practice Group, where she concentrates her practice…
The repeal of Wisconsin’s longstanding Deadman’s Statute – Wis. Stat. section 885.16 – became effective July 1, 2017.1 By doing so, Wisconsin joined the vast majority of states – and the Federal Rules of Evidence – which have either repealed, superseded, or never adopted the rule. The Deadman’s Statute: Prior Application The Deadman’s Statute commonly factored into many estate and trust disputes because it rendered a person with a legal interest in the outcome of a particular case “incompetent” to testify regarding a transaction or communication with a deceased person. A purpose behind the statute in Wisconsin was: to…