Clair Law News and Articles

Charles W. Pollard IV Elected a Managing Partner at Clair Law

We are pleased to announce that Charles (Chad) W. Pollard IV has been elected as a managing partner at Clair Law
Beginning as a promising young attorney from Marquette University Law School, Attorney Pollard thrived at the firm based on his hardworking, capable, and honest representation of our firm.
Chad's practice shall continue to focus on real estate; zoning, planning, and land use law; civil litigation, including lake rights and property line disputes, commercial litigation, and corporate law.

Significant Tax Legislation That May Affect Your Current Estate Plan

March 27, 2018

On January 1, 2018, tax legislation was signed, ushering in several changes to the wealth transfer tax system. As a result, we recommend to all of our clients that they review the terms of their Last Will & Testament and/or Revocable Trust at this time to ensure that your estate planning documents remain in accordance with your wishes, as now affected by the 2018 changes in the tax legislation. For instance, many Wills and Revocable Trusts are funded according to “formula clauses” tied to the exemption amount in effect on the date of your death. In the event that you die before the year 2026, these trusts may be funded with significantly larger amounts than anybody was anticipating when your documents were signed.

Property Tax Assessment Procedures

January 3, 2018 We represent clients who have their property assessed, for tax purposes, who sometimes wish to challenge the revaluation of their property. In a recent 2017 Supreme Court of Wisconsin case, Milewski v. Town of Dover, Board of Review, 2017 WI 79, the Supreme Court found that the requirement under Wisconsin Statutes conditioning a property owner’s right to challenge the assessor’s valuation of the property on submission to the inside of their home, was unconstitutional.

Qualify for Medicaid?

September 19, 2017

Medicaid is at the center of the current health care debates in Washington. People fear that the demographics in this country will result in skyrocketing Medicaid program costs. Americans have not saved enough to pay for end-of-life health care – thus Medicaid will come under increasing strain. Many of our clients confer with us concerning Medicaid planning, which is sometimes described as divestment. First and foremost, before talking about Medicaid planning, a client needs to talk about how to “qualify” for Medicaid. Medicaid eligibility differs by state and also by marital status. Currently, you cannot have income higher than $2,205.00 to $2,898.00 per month per person, including your Social Security benefits. In addition, there are asset restrictions of $2,000.00, unless there is a spouse who is not receiving care – in which case that spouse can have up to $120,900.00, while their husband or wife qualifies for Medicaid. The primary residence does not count in the asset calculation, but there is a cap of home equity if the recipient of Medicaid is single.

Estate Planning, Retirement, and Taking Distributions - Contact Your Accountant

There are complex IRS regulations associated with IRAs and other retirement plans. When Clair Law Offices advises its clients concerning estate planning matters, we customarily defer questions concerning retirement distributions to our clients’ accountants and financial advisers. Errors in taking retirement distributions can be extremely costly. This is especially true of required minimum distributions (RMDs).

ABLE Accounts For Clients with Disabilities

June 23, 2017

Clients with disabilities who receive governmental benefits cannot have more than $2,000 in savings. If they do, they start to lose those much-needed benefits.

There is a new type of saving vehicle known as “ABLE Accounts” which permit people with disabilities and their families to save up to $14,000 a year without losing benefits. The accounts are somewhat similar to the 529 College Savings Plans. With ABLE accounts, money can be saved and can be used for anything that helps the life of the person with a disability.

Title to Real Estate: Unmarried Cohabitants

There are circumstances where unmarried persons purchase homes together. In most of those cases, the couples take title as joint tenants, which means that upon the death of one of them, title is automatically vested by operation of law in the survivor. On the other hand, if the unmarried couples take title as tenants in common, it is almost always on a 50-50 basis.

The problems arise when the relationship ends. The question that we are often asked is: Are there common law rights for unmarried cohabitants?

Best of Walworth County 2016

February 9, 2017

We wanted to take this opportunity to thank our clients for voting us the Best of Walworth County for the 5th year in a row. We take great pride in the confidence that our clients and the residents of Walworth County continue to bestow upon us. Thank you for trusting us with all your legal needs. For over 50 years we’ve had the pleasure of providing legal services here in Walworth County, and we will continue to strive to be “your local law firm” for many years to come.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

News for Lakefront Property Owners

Wisconsin is home to thousands of inland lakes. Walworth County is no different, boasting beautiful lakes, including Geneva Lake, Delavan Lake, and their surrounding neighbors. The beauty of these lakes draws a wide array of people, causing a delicate balance of maintaining the lakes’ beauty but also developing the land to its fullest potential. As such, the Shoreland Zoning laws have been adopted to create statewide standards for building around lakes in Wisconsin.

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The comments and opinions expressed in the blog are intended for informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Reading or using the information in the blog does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Clair Law Offices, S.C. or any of our attorneys.  The law is constantly changing and therefore the blog may contain dated material. For current law and how it relates to your particular facts and circumstances, consult Clair Law Offices or another qualified attorney licensed in your state.