Jacqueline L. Messler
Associate

Location: Brookfield
T: 262.792.2409
F: 262.792.2459
300 North Corporate Drive, Suite 150
Brookfield, WI 53045

Publications: Attorney Jacqueline L. Messler


  • Use of Transfer on Death (TOD) Deeds Broadened Under New Statute

    May 18, 2018

    The Governor recently signed 2018 Wisconsin Act 332, which affects a method to transfer real property without going through a probate proceeding known as a transfer on death (“TOD”) deed. The new law gives clients more options to transfer real property without having to go through a probate proceeding. A TOD deed does not affect the current ownership of the property but essentially functions like a beneficiary designation would on a life insurance policy or retirement account – it designates who is to receive the property after the current owner’s death or upon the last death of multiple owners. Under...



  • Using Trusts to Protect a Beneficiary’s Inheritance From Creditors in the Era of Tax Reform

    February 15, 2018

    Now that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts has passed and the estate tax exemption has been doubled, trusts are no longer advantageous, right? And perhaps, we can look to terminate existing irrevocable trusts, as discussed in Fixing Irrevocable Trusts. The answers are not so simple. First, revocable trusts have many uses in estate planning, other than to save on taxes, including: Probate Avoidance and Savings. Keeping the estate of the trust creator (the “Settlor”) outside of probate. Going through probate means that the administration of a decedent’s estate will be subject to the oversight of a probate court. A properly...



  • Fixing Irrevocable Trusts

    January 9, 2018

    When estate planners meet with clients to review their estate plan, it is very common to run across clients who created irrevocable trusts in the 1980s, 90s, or early 2000s. The goal in creating these irrevocable trusts was often to reduce the size of the client’s estate to avoid estate tax. Now that fewer people are subject to estate tax, these trusts are often no longer necessary to avoid estate tax. Under recent changes to the state statutes, we now have more flexibility to modify or terminate unwanted and unnecessary irrevocable trusts. Common Irrevocable Trusts Over the last 20 years, the unified...



  • IRS Announces 2018 Estate and Gift Tax Limits

    November 6, 2017

    While recent news reports focus on the potential for tax change as result of the introduction of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” in the House on November 2, 2017, the IRS continues its job of administering existing law. Under the current rules, several key gift and estate tax exclusions are adjusted for inflation annually, including the estate tax exclusion, the annual gift tax exclusion, and the estate tax deduction for decedents dying with certain farm or closely held business real estate. The IRS has recently announced that the estate and gift tax exclusion will be $5,600,000 effective January 1,...



  • Estate Planning for Your Digital Property

    June 2, 2017

    Does your YouTube station with tutorials teaching the perfect contouring makeup technique have a million subscribers and significant advertising revenue? Probably not. Do you store music, documents, or photos on the Cloud? Possibly. Do you conduct online banking? Probably. Do you have a Facebook, Instagram, Google, Yahoo, or Twitter account? Most likely. You might not think that you have much “digital property,” but the vast majority of people now have digital property in one or more forms. As a personal asset, your digital property should be addressed as a part of your overall estate plan. The Wisconsin Digital Property Act (the...



  • IRS Announces 2017 Estate and Gift Tax Limits and Mileage Reimbursement Rate

    December 29, 2016

    The IRS has announced the 2017 inflation adjusted numbers for several important gift and estate tax exclusions. Each year, several key gift and estate tax exclusions are adjusted for inflations, including the estate tax exclusion, the annual gift tax exclusion, and the estate tax deduction for decedents dying with certain farm or closely held business real estate. In 2017, the estate tax exclusion is $5,490,000. That means for people dying in 2017, because the gift tax and estate tax are unified, a person can make a total of up to $5.49 million of taxable gifts without paying gift tax or...



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