Ruder Ware News & Insights

Updates on key legal issues and business concerns.

In the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, I wrote a blog post on how to create a valid will in Wisconsin.  At the time, we were all stuck at home by government order, and many clients signed their wills without a notary public.  Signing a will without a notary public was a short-term fix during a challenging time, not best practice.  Now that we have resumed business as usual, we recommend that you should ensure your will is
Continue Reading Nothing to Prove: Making the Case for Self-Proving Affidavits

Paying for nursing-home and long-term care can seem daunting when the cost can be $5,000 to $12,000 per month – or more. When a married couple is no longer able or willing to privately pay out of pocket for care and chooses to apply for Medicaid, it’s a complex process. The Medicaid agency must analyze the couple’s income and assets as of a particular date to determine eligibility.

A Medicaid applicant is someone residing in a nursing home, a
Continue Reading Is Medicaid for a Spouse Possible Without Breaking the Bank?

On October 21, 2022 the Internal Revenue Service announced the cost-of-living adjustments for the various qualified retirement plan limits.  All of the limits shown below have increased (in some cases significantly) from last year.
 

Qualified Plan Limit
Cost-of-Living Adjustments

401(k) and 403(b) elective deferral limit

2022 – $20,500

2023 – $22,500

$200,000 compensation limit

2022 – $305,000

2023 – $330,000

$160,000 defined benefit limit

2022 – $245,000

2023 – $265,000

$40,000 defined contribution limit

2022 – $61,000

2023 –
Continue Reading 2023 Qualified Plan Cost of Living Increases, 2023 Social Security Taxable Wage Base

Recently, we have been fielding a fair number of inquiries from clients who have been approached by third parties urging them to claim the Employee Retention Credit (“ERC”).  The ERC, which the federal government enacted back in 2020 to help blunt the economic impact of COVID-19, is a refundable tax credit designed to reward businesses that continued to pay employees during pandemic-related shutdown orders or experienced significant declines in revenue during the pandemic.

Qualifying for the ERC is difficult,
Continue Reading IRS Cautions Employers Against Engaging Third Party Employee Retention Credit Consultants

Today the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission released a new poster that is required for employers covered by Title VII.  The new poster is entitled “Know Your Rights” and includes these changes:

  • Notes that harassment is a prohibited form of discrimination;
  • Clarifies that sex discrimination includes discrimination based on pregnancy and related conditions, sexual orientation, or gender identity;
  • Adds a QR code for fast digital access to the how to file a charge webpage;
  • Provides information about equal pay discrimination


Continue Reading New EEO Poster Required!

Location: Hilton Garden Inn151401 Cty Rd NN, Wausau, Wisconsin

Presenters:
Sara J. Ackermann, Mary Ellen Schill, Chad R. Levanetz, Nicole L. Stangl, Tyler M. Richardson
<!–Tyler M. Richardson–>

Presentation

Ruder Ware’s Annual Employment & Benefits Law Conference will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn (map and directions).
7:30 a.m.       Registration
8:00 a.m.      Welcome & Introductions
8:15 – 9:00 a.m.
Take It or Leave It:  Wisconsin’s Bone Marrow and
Continue Reading Annual Employment & Benefits Law Conference 2022

Do you have employees in the Viking state? If so, keep reading!  On July 1, 2022, Minnesota adopted a new law legalizing the sale, purchase, and consumption of edible cannabinoid products to people aged 21 and over. The law legalized the use of edible cannabinoid products made from substances extracted from certified hemp plants.  The product can contain no more than 0.3% of any hemp-derived THC and no more than five milligrams of THC per serving (or more than
Continue Reading Minnesota Latest State to Legalize THC Products

Under new Wisconsin laws coming into effect soon, some important rules governing how limited liability companies (LLCs) operate will change. This article will describe some of the key changes, what LLC owners need to be thinking about, and some approaching deadlines for those wishing to be governed under the “old” rules.

The New LLC Law

 On April 15, 2022, Wisconsin enacted new laws for LLCs. The legislation – 2021 Wisconsin Act 258 – will completely replace the existing LLC
Continue Reading LLCs: The Next Generation Under Wisconsin Law

My husband just recently opened a new account at one of those online, do-it-yourself, investment companies.  He promises that with the tiny amount of money I was willing to allow him to experiment with that he will make us tons of money.  After he got the account set up, he asked me to sit beside him so he could show me what he had done.  As he was showing me the fancy website and all of the different gadgets
Continue Reading How is That Account Titled?

The Fair Labor Standards Act provides an employee should receive compensation for overtime hours at a rate “not less than one and one-half times the regular rate at which he is employed.” 29 U.S.C. § 207(a)(1). This is a well-known principle by employers and employees alike. However, “regular rate” is not the same as the employee’s “hourly rate.”

Regular rate

Regular rate is defined to include all remuneration for employment paid to the employee by the employer. The regular
Continue Reading Make Sure Overtime is Calculated Correctly

In March of this year, the three major nationwide credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion) announced there would be substantial changes to medical collection debt reporting coming this summer in an effort to help consumers faced with unexpected medical bills.  The changes will remove nearly 70% of medical collection debt tradelines from consumer credit reports.
The decision was based on months of industry research which showed that around two-thirds of medical debts are the result of one-time or
Continue Reading Significant Changes to Medical Collection Debt Reporting: How Might it Affect Business?

Estate planning isn’t just for the elderly. Young farmers can also benefit from taking a quick look at their own estate and succession plans.

It is not uncommon for the estate and succession planning process to focus on the older generation, as they may be the individuals that have the most assets to plan for, are aging, and/or have health issues. However, planning can be just as important for the younger generation who may be the future owners, key
Continue Reading Estate Planning for Young Farmers

The National Elder Law Foundation recently certified Attorney Aric Burch as a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) – one of twelve in the state of Wisconsin.  The only certification program approved by the American Bar Association for elder law, the program was developed to identify lawyers who have the enhanced knowledge, skills, and experience to be properly identified as certified elder law attorneys to the public.
Licensed to practice law in Wisconsin and Illinois, Burch principally advises clients in
Continue Reading Attorney Aric Burch Receives Certification In Elder Law

Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided to some extent, banks and lenders are beginning to resume collections.  Further, as interest rates and inflation continue to rise, it is likely that the number of past due accounts will also rise.  One of the issues with collections are the slough of regulations that come with collections from consumers.  Consumer collections must be compliant with the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (the FDCPA), and in Wisconsin, the more stringent Wisconsin
Continue Reading Consumer Collections in Wisconsin

One of the most common questions asked by our clients is, “What is the difference between a will and a trust, and which is right for me?”  Last week, I provided a brief summary of the differences between these two common estate planning tools in a vlog.  You can view the vlog here.  In this blog post, I’ll provide more details about the distinguishing factors.

Wills and trusts share some commonalities, including:

  • You may use a will or


Continue Reading Will or Trust: Which is Right for Me?

Due to the increase in the cost of gasoline since establishing the 2022 rates last year, the Internal Revenue Service is increasing mid-year the optional standard mileage rates for computing the deductible cost of operating an automobile for business, medical, and moving expenses.  Effective July 1, 2022, the optional standard mileage rates will be 62.5 cents per mile for business transportation, and 22 cents per mile for travel relating to medical and moving transportation expenses. These increased mileage rates
Continue Reading Pain at the Pump: IRS Announces Mid-Year Adjustment of Business and Medical Mileage Rates