Jacqueline L. Messler


Jacqueline L. Messler

Location: Brookfield

T: 262.792.2409

F: 262.792.2459


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Assistant: Lori Rogahn

T: 262.792.2436


  • Best Lawyers® in America - Trusts and Estates (2020-2023)
  • National Law Review's Go-To Thought Leader - Tax Law (2021)
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers Magazine, Rising Star (2019-2020)
  • Up and Coming Lawyer, Wisconsin Law Journal (2016)


  • J.D., cum laude, Marquette University Law School
  • B.A., magna cum laude, Carroll University, History & Political Science


Jacqueline Messler serves as Co-Chair of the firm’s Trusts, Estates and Succession Planning group’s. Her practice includes estate planning, business succession planning, marital property agreements, guardianships, probate, and trust administration. Jackie regularly advises clients, particularly high net worth individuals, on all aspects of estate planning, including wills, revocable trusts, powers of attorney, irrevocable life insurance trusts, and generation-skipping transfer trusts. Jackie has worked with many clients in blended families. She has also assisted clients in special needs planning, including creating trusts under WisPact and Life Navigators. As an animal lover herself, Jackie has extensive experience advising clients on the best way to take care of pets after the owner’s incapacity or death, including drafting pet trusts.

In addition, she advises business owners in ongoing business operating and succession planning. This includes the preparation of organizational documents, including the Articles of Incorporation and Operating Agreement, buy-sell and transfer restriction agreements, the negotiation and preparation of various other corporate agreements, as well as legal services related to ongoing business operations, and the documents necessary to ensure the successful transition of the ownership and management of the businesses.

She has advised clients on pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements, including provisions related to keeping individual property (including business interests), maintenance, provisions for divorce, and provisions for death.

Jackie also has experience representing clients petitioning for a guardianship, including petitioning for guardianship over a minor child, petitioning for guardianship for a disabled child turning 18, and petitioning for guardianship over an incompetent adult.

Additionally, Jackie has extensive experience in advising clients in probate and trust administration after the death of a loved one. She advises Trustees and Personal Representatives in all aspects of estate administration. She has experience in negotiating settlement agreements in a contentious administration to allow for the efficient settlement of the estate. Jackie has experience in the preparation of gift tax returns, estate tax returns, and trust and estate income tax returns.

Jackie speaks regularly on trust and estate topics, including the following presentations:

  • Estate Planning for Your Pets for the Wisconsin State Bar’s annual Estate Planning Update program
  • Estate Planning Basics for the Milwaukee Parks and Recreation Department
  • Estate Planning for Your Tangible Personal Property
  • Trusts Used for Tax Reduction for the National Business Institute
  • How to File and Estate in Probate Court; Working with Executors and Administrators, for the National Business Institute
  • Managing and Navigating Financial Resources for the Person with Dementia for the Alzheimer’s Association
  • Collecting and Valuing Probate Assets for the National Business Institute
  • Estate Planning for Your Tangible Personal Property

Prior to joining Davis|Kuelthau, she previously clerked for Justice Annette Kingsland Ziegler at the Wisconsin Supreme Court.


Professional Activities

Admitted, State Bar of Wisconsin

Member, State Bar of Wisconsin – Elder Law, Probate & Trusts, and Taxation Sections; Young Lawyers Division

Member, Waukesha County Estate Planning Council

Community Involvement

Former Board of Directors, Coach, Girls on the Run – Greater Milwaukee

Former Member, Young Leader’s Council, Meta House

Former Co-Chair, Community Outreach Committee, Association for Women Lawyers

Speaker, Milwaukee Parks and Recreation

Member, Former Board of Directors, Momentum

Participant, Women Helping Women Luncheon

Participant, Wales Area Business Networking Group

Herbert Mueller Society Member, Greater Milwaukee Foundation

Member, Alumni Council, Carroll University

Member, President’s Advisory Council, Carroll University

Volunteer, Wills for Heroes