Entries by Gary Lippow

What is Wisconsin Estate Recovery?

The Wisconsin Estate Recovery Program seeks repayment for the cost of certain long-term care paid by programs such as Medicaid, BadgerCare Plus, and Family Care. Recovery is made from the assets of a recipient after their death, or after the death of their surviving spouse. Over the years, the state has become increasingly aggressive in […]

How To Use a Transfer on Death Deed

Transfer on Death Deeds are a underused tool to bequeath real estate to loved ones after your death. They are simple and inexpensive to create, and they will generally save your surviving family significant time and expense. What Does a Transfer on Death Deed Do? A Transfer on Death Deed (officially called a “Designation of […]

Estate Planning and Probate Quiz

There are many common misconceptions about estate planning and probate law. Take this quiz to see how much you know about these issues. Are you correctly planning for your family’s future?  The answers are below. Questions: True or False: Having a Will is the easiest way to avoid probate after your death. True or False: […]

2018 Estate Planning and Tax Updates

As the year 2018 begins, several changes go into effect that may affect families’ estate planning. Increase in Annual Gift Tax Exemption After being stuck at $14,000 for the last several years, the per-person annual gift tax exemption rises to $15,000 for the year 2018. This means that a person may make gifts adding up […]

Maintenance Will No Longer Be Deductible after 2018

The new Federal Tax Code is upending 76 years of laws regarding the taxation of maintenance payments, known in many states as alimony. Currently, the spouse paying maintenance after a divorce is able to deduct maintenance payments from their income taxes. The spouse receiving the payments then has to pay taxes on the extra income.  […]

4 Things That Do NOT Belong in Your Will

These are items that do NOT belong in your Will. Funeral and Burial Instructions. Since a Will is about planning for your eventual death, it would make sense to include funeral, burial, and/or cremation instructions in the document, right? However, these ideas do not belong in your Will. First, such wishes would not actually be legally […]

What Does a Durable Financial Power of Attorney Do?

A Durable Financial Power of Attorney protects you in the event you are no longer able to make your own financial decisions, whether due to age, illness, or injury. It allows you, in advance, to select a person of your choice (your “Agent”) to make many different financial decisions for you. These decisions range from […]

The Importance of Estate Planning for Unmarried Couples

It is particularly important for unmarried couples to create an estate plan. Even the most basic of preparation can make a dramatic difference in the event that one partner passes away or becomes incapacitated.  If you in a long-term relationship, but not legally married, follow these steps to protect yourself and your loved ones. Write […]