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Simply transferring a farm to the next generation is quite easy.  Successfully transitioning a farm business for the mutual benefit of all parties involved, however, is much more complicated.  It takes time, planning and the weighing of a multitude of considerations.

Step One is to identify the successor.  Will the farm be transitioning to family or to a third party?  If to family, does s/he understand the commitment it takes to own and operate the farm business?  Doe s/he
Continue Reading Farm Succession Planning

By:  Attorney Alison C. Petri

Parents have many questions when their child with disabilities is about to turn age eighteen (18).  Once your child is an adult you will no longer have the same ability to legally access or assist with your child’s financial or health care decision making.  What legal documentation your child needs to get assistance with such issues depends on your child’s disability and their capacity to execute legal documents.

The goal is to implement a
Continue Reading Planning for Children with Disabilities Transitioning to Adulthood

On September 15, 2021, the House Ways and Means Committee approved draft legislation that, among other things, would increase taxes for high-income individuals and make drastic changes to federal estate, gift, and generation skipping transfer tax laws.

Before the proposed legislation becomes law, the Senate Finance Committee will weigh in, and a bill must pass the House and Senate, and be signed by the President. While this seems like an uphill battle, many practitioners believe that something very similar
Continue Reading Federal Estate Tax Law Changes Are Near

It’s not uncommon for clients to tell me that they’ve added their adult child or children to their bank account. My next question to them is what they mean by that?  Did you add the child as an owner to the account, a signatory, power of attorney, or beneficiary? The answer makes a big difference in what rights, if any, they may have transferred to their child and if their assets will transfer after death.  Knowing how the accounts
Continue Reading Should I Add My Child to My Bank Accounts?

At SB Law, clients regularly contact us stating that they want to hire an “independent contractor” to assist them in their business thinking that is the safest and most efficient relationship to have with their new hire.  When considering whether a person will qualify as an independent contractor or will be deemed an employee, it is crucial to understand that such determination is solely based upon the facts and circumstances of each particular situation, and a person is not
Continue Reading Business Owners Beware:  Is Your New Hire an Independent Contractor or Employee?

By:  Attorney Gina C. Ziegelbauer
This is the question our clients have when they’ve just experienced the loss of their spouse, parent, or other family member. It is a difficult time and everything can feel overwhelming. The answer depends on each individual’s situation, what assets they had, and the planning they had in place for those assets.
Not everything needs to be done immediately. I tell my clients to take their time to grieve and avoid making big decisions
Continue Reading My Loved One Passed Away…. What Do I Do Now?

Probate avoidance is one of many considerations in a good estate plan.  A revocable living trust is a common way of avoiding probate and is the best option for many (but not all) clients. However, a revocable trust will only avoid probate for the assets held by the trust, or payable to the trust because of a Settlor’s death.  Consequently, it is imperative that a revocable trust is properly funded.  Creating the trust is step one.  The second and
Continue Reading Fund That Trust

This month’s question is one I hear quite a bit: “I don’t have very much stuff, so do I really need to worry about doing any planning?” The answer is still yes, and for a few reasons. A couple of the most important planning tools individuals should have in place are powers of attorney.

A “power of attorney” allows an agent (a decision-maker) to act for another person in specific or general legal or financial matters. It also refers
Continue Reading Do I Really Need Powers of Attorney?

By:  Attorney Andrew J. Steimle

Just about every business in the United States was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  But the world did not stop, and neither did business transactions.  This article is intended to provide you with some additional items to consider when buying a business as we start to come out of the pandemic.

First and foremost, doing thorough due diligence has never been more important.  The impact the pandemic had on companies ranges from severe distress
Continue Reading Buying a Business in Today’s COVID Environment

By:  Attorney Gina C. Ziegelbauer
As an estate planning attorney, I see first-hand how proper planning can save major headaches (and potentially money!) for the people you leave behind. But the reality is, many people pass away with no planning in place. So what happens then? What if you die without a Will?
Like so many of my answers, it really depends on your situation. If you die without a Will but all of your assets have payable-on-death, transfer-on-death,
Continue Reading What Happens if I Die Without a Will?

At first this question might seem unusual, but according to the American Pet Products Association three in five U.S. households own a pet, which resulted in an estimated $99 billion dollars spent on pets in the U.S. in 2020. It’s pretty clear that people are willing to pamper their pets. In fact, a 2020 study by the Harris Poll on behalf of TD Ameritrade found that an average dog owner spent over $1,200 per year on their pet, not
Continue Reading Can I Leave an Inheritance to My Pet?

By:  Alison C. Petri © 2021
National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) is April 16, 2021 – this is your reminder to let your family know your values, goals, and preferences regarding future medical care.  Use this time to talk to your family to ensure you receive the medical care you want.  Under Wisconsin law, adults (not under legal guardianship) have the right to control decisions about their medical care, including the right to accept or refuse treatment.
This is
Continue Reading National Healthcare Decisions Day

By Attorney Gina C. Ziegelbauer
It seems like we’ve all received those scam calls letting you know your “vehicle warranty has expired,” “there is a problem with your credit card,” or that you need to take some type of action with regard to your social security, bank accounts, tech support, or who-knows-what. While it may be obvious to many people that these types of calls or mailings are a scam, unfortunately, fraudsters particularly target vulnerable persons who may not
Continue Reading What is Financial Exploitation?