When any of Wynn at Law LLC’s clients own real property in Wisconsin, we look at a Transfer on Death Deed (commonly called a TOD Deed or a TODD) to see if it is a suitable fit for their estate plan. It can sometimes wipe out the need to go to probate court, which is a time and cost saver.
There are dozens of intersections in life that call for an attorney’s insight. Wynn at Law LLC gladly steps in to advise clients who have reached those intersections, like bankruptcy or buying a home. One of the most emotionally taxing of the intersections is how to handle the decisions at the end of a life, whether it’s sudden or the result of a long-term illness. Planning ahead, before you reach this inevitable intersection, can make the situation more bearable, or at least manageable.
Wynn at Law LLC provides estate planning services – wills are one example. ‘Probate’ is a commonly used term in estate planning, especially these days when many clients have an estate worth more than $50,000. First, a bit on probate… then why $50,000 is an important number.
Probate is a court process whereby a will is legally ‘proven’ as the true last testament of the deceased. Essentially, the document is reviewed and validated. It came to be a more common process in the 16thcentury when greedy relatives (or non-relatives) began making phony claims on a dead person’s property. It comes from the same Latin roots as ‘probation.’ In probation, a person has to prove he can live within the law… in probate, a document has to be proven to be authentic and created within the law. Probation and probate have nothing else in common other than the root word, meaning proof.
We are frequently seeing clients with ‘surprise’ medical bills when Wynn at Law,LLC counsels people through bankruptcy proceedings. Catastrophic medical bills are, unfortunately, one of the more common reasons for Chapter 7. Usually those clients didn’t have insurance coverage. The surprise medical bills to which this article refers are bills health insurance did not cover.
Consumers aren’t the only victims of fraud. Wynn at Law, LLChears about thousands of small business scams every year. A reward of our business is being able to work with entrepreneurs to get a business off and running (see related article). It doesn’t take much more than a single scam to derail that dream.
One article earlier in the Wynn at Law, LLC archives mentioned our current real estate market cycle as being a seller’s market. There’s not much supply, and plenty of demand. Even in a hot seller’s market, there’s a temptation to increase the net price received for the property by offering it For Sale By Owner, or FSBO. (Real estate pros pronounce it ‘fizzboh.’)
One of the great rites of spring is the new crew of young adults graduating high school and heading off to their futures. When I’m not at Wynn at Law, LLC, I teach at Marquette University Law School, so I may see a few of them further in their academic journeys.
For students, parents, and grandparents, the issue of affording tuition is best tackled a few years before high school graduation. If you’re blessed with a full-ride scholarship or a generous gift from family, the Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) is a challenging hurdle you’ll skip. For families planning to apply for financial aid, here are a two estate planning things to keep in mind long before commencement.
A casual conversation with one of the many area realtors with whom Wynn at Law LLC works revealed an interesting take on the current real estate market in Walworth County. It’s a seller’s market right now (see related article). The demand outpaces the supply. That scenario is great for sellers, and it’s also great for those wishing to build rather than buy a home.
There are plenty of subdivisions in development in the area. Visitors from Chicagoland are usually struck by the amount of larger parcels available for country living, too. When you buy one and start to build – or if you’ve already broken ground – an important pair of words for your venture are: Lien Waiver.
Warmer weather has at last arrived. School’s winding down. That means more kids out and about. When a kid spots something in your yard and says, ‘Wow, that looks like fun,’ there is probably the potential for litigation. Wynn at Law LLC’s team isn’t the downer you’ll neglect to invite to your neighborhood party, but we do help clients stay clear of ‘attractive nuisance’ trouble. I’m talking about a pool. A trampoline. A ladder. A junked fridge. Kids are drawn like magnets to them and other adventures.
When adventure turns into trespass, misadventure and injury and it ends up in court, the property owner is under fire… not the trespasser.