Insight into Legal Developments and Issues

Wisconsin’s Recreational Immunity Statute

Does Wisconsin's Recreational Immunity Statute protect you from liability? As the snow finally melts and spring arrives, our focus will be on enjoying the great outdoors in Central Wisconsin. Recreational activities that we enjoy may include hiking, biking, fishing,...

Taking Control of Your Estate Plan

Have you ever considered making a will or a revocable trust? Did you ultimately find a reason not to do so? If so, according to a recent survey by, you are not alone. The survey indicates that only 42 percent of U.S. adults have estate planning documents...

Wisconsin Fair Employment Act & the ADA

What can Wisconsin Employers Learn From an Employer in Churubusco, Indiana (Pop. 1,800)? Wisconsin employers should be aware of the root cause of a lawsuit that led to a settlement between the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and an Indiana...

Managed Forest Land Program Changes

The enactment of 2015 Wisconsin Act 358 on April 16, 2016 (Act) has caused significant changes to the Managed Forest Law (MFL) Program. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) monitors the MFL Program which was created to incentivize private forestland...

The Right to a Clean Hospital Room

Patient safety is one of our society’s greatest concerns. It may surprise some, but attorneys play a major role in improving patient care. You might say we prefer clean hospital rooms over courtrooms. It might also surprise you to learn that there are no standards that require the hospital room you or a loved one will be put in at some point in your life must be free of bacteria or viruses in sufficient numbers to cause an infection. When a patient gets such an infection while receiving treatment for another condition, we call that a Hospital (or Healthcare) Acquired Infection or HAI.

Family Caregiver Contracts

When an ill or older relative needs help with daily activities and personal care, selecting an at-home caregiver can be a worrisome task. Who will provide care? How will they be compensated? What if the older relative needs not just occasional, but full-time care? To alleviate these concerns, a growing number of adult children are becoming caregivers for aging parents.

Although many adult children or grandchildren feel a strong sense of duty to provide care for their loved one, being a caregiver can be extremely time consuming. Providing care to an aging parent may make it difficult for the caregiver to meet other commitments, and may even result in sacrificing employment in order to provide the necessary care.

Changes to Valuation Regulations Will Impact Transfers of Family Businesses

On August 4, 2016, the U.S. Treasury Department issued proposed regulations under Internal Revenue Code Section 2704. If finalized as proposed, the new regulations will eliminate many valuation discounts that currently apply to certain transfers of closely-held entities (including family-owned corporations and limited liability companies) between family members.

Under current regulations, when a family member gives another family member a portion of the family-owned entity, the value of the gift may be reduced from the full enterprise value because the recipient is usually unable to liquidate the business or transfer the interest to third parties outside the family. The amount of the reduction (valuation discount) is typically determined by a certified appraiser and often ranges from 25% to 40%. Under the proposed regulations, the same transfer between family members would be valued without applying these discounts.

How Job Loss Can Affect Child Support

Child support is calculated based on a percentage of the payor’s income (generally 17% for one child, 25% for two children, 29% for three children, and up). After the calculation is established, a fixed dollar amount is determined based on the payor’s average gross monthly income at the time the support order is entered. In other words, the obligation does not automatically change from week to week or month to month based on a payor’s actual earnings where those earnings either fluctuate or the payor experiences a significant and sudden change in his or her income.

ABLE Accounts Now Available to Wisconsin Residents

The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, enacted by Congress in late 2014, amended Section 529 of the Internal Revenue Code, permitting states to allow tax-advantaged savings accounts to be established for qualified individuals with disabilities for certain disability-related expenses. Funds held in ABLE Accounts will generally not be considered in determining eligibility for the supplementary security (SSI) program, Medicaid, and certain other federal means-tested benefits.

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