Whether you are planning for your family’s security or the growth of your business, we can help you. From life and estate planning to tax planning to securing your children’s future, we are proactive and will give you the advice, guidance and help you need.
The Child Comes First
The best interests of the child are paramount. We believe children have the right to be loved, nurtured, respected and free of fear, anxiety, uncertainty and harm. This is what drives us.
We are not afraid to fight
From routine to complex cases, we work to achieve security for children, families and the individuals we serve. Sometimes we do this through negotiation; sometimes we do this in court. We use creativity, determination and an in-depth knowledge of the law to help our clients.
Families come in many different forms
Some may be two-parent families, same sex couples, single parents, multi-generational or not related by blood. To each other, they are family and their relationship should be protected.
We believe in law with a conscience
Before we accept a case, we ask ourselves this question: If we win, will it be good for the child, or other family member who should be protected? In other words, will we be able to sleep at night? If the answer is yes, then we gather our resources and get to work.
AREAS OF PRACTICE
- Assisted Reproductive Technology (“ART”) Law
- Contested Proceedings
- Divorce, Dissolution and Paternity
- Foster Parent Issues
- Grandparents and Other Relatives
What happens to my property when I die? Who will take care of my children? Who would make medical decisions for me if I can’t communicate? How do I minimize estate and gift taxes? We will help you answer these questions and in doing so, put together a life and estate plan that ensures your wishes are followed and your family is spared of the burden of trying to figure out what you would have wanted.
There are many tools to create and implement your life and estate plan. Among these are:
- Will and Nomination of Guardian. In a Will, you designate what happens to your property upon your death. You appoint a personal representative, who will handle your estate. If you have minor children, you also appoint a guardian for your children (in your Will or in a separate Nomination of Guardian document).
- Revocable Living Trusts. Whereas a Will takes effect upon your death, a revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime. It is a written agreement that names a trustee to manage property in the trust for the eventual benefit of others (the beneficiaries). It also provides for management of your property should you become unable to handle your affairs. Property in the revocable living trust does not go through probate after your death.
- Beneficiary Designations. Many assets can be transferred at death without probate through beneficiary designations or transfer-on-death designations. We can help you decide when beneficiary or transfer-on-death designations are appropriate, and help you to complete the designation documents.
- Power of Attorney for Finances. In a Power of Attorney for Finances, you appoint an agent to act on your behalf. You choose which powers to give your agent and when your agent’s powers become effective (for example, when you become incompetent). A durable Power of Attorney for Finances can help you avoid the need for a court-appointed guardian over your property.
- Power of Attorney for Health Care. In a Power of Attorney for Health Care, you appoint a health care agent to make decisions about your health care should you become unable to make those decisions or to communicate your wishes. The document also allows you to express your wishes regarding life-sustaining procedures, organ donation, nursing home placement or anything else affecting your health care. A Power of Attorney for Health Care can help you avoid the need for a court-appointed guardian over your person.
- Declaration to Physicians (Living Will). This document describes which kinds of treatment you would want if you had a terminal condition or were in a persistent vegetative state.
- Special Needs Trusts. A special needs trust is designed to set aside funds for persons with disabilities who receive means-tested public benefits, such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI). Without such a trust, they may lose their eligibility for these benefits. We can help you incorporate a Special Needs Trust into your estate plan to protect your loved one’s public benefits.
We will help you assemble and educate you on these tools.
AREAS OF PRACTICE
People sign contracts everyday: service contracts, real estate deals, business-to-business transactions, etc. Not surprisingly, contract disputes occur. Someone may fail to live up to the terms of contract, causing you damage. Alternatively, someone may try to force you to do something not required by your contract. The Law Center will help you achieve the result that you anticipated when you signed your contract.
If you or a family member has been injured due to someone else’s negligence, recklessness, intentional act, or failure to act, you may have a basis for a personal injury claim. The injured person may be entitled to financial compensation from the person who caused the injury or his or her insurer. This may include damages for medical costs, lost wages, and pain and suffering against whomever caused the injury. Types of personal injuries include:
- Automobile Accidents
- Slip and Fall
- Product Liability
You have the right to expect that your property will not be damaged. If your property is damaged due to someone else’s intentional act, negligence or recklessness, you may be entitled to receive damages from the person who caused the damage.
For disputes for less than $5,000 (or in some cases less than $10,000), small claims court provides an efficient and accessible alternative to litigation in circuit court. The Law Center is prepared to help you navigate this process and achieve a just result.
In Wisconsin, a lender must file a civil lawsuit to foreclose against a borrower. If a borrower does nothing when this lawsuit is filed, the borrower may lose the property. However, a borrower has rights when facing a foreclosure lawsuit. A borrower may fight the foreclosure altogether. Alternatively, we can help you to negotiate a resolution that is acceptable to both you and the lender. If you are facing a foreclosure, it is important to contact an attorney right away to make sure that your rights are respected and protected.
If you are dissatisfied with an unfavorable ruling from a state or federal trial court, you may be entitled to appeal that decision. Alternatively, if you had a favorable outcome, that ruling may be appealed by the other party. In either case, a skilled attorney is essential to forming a successful legal argument to achieve a fair result. A fresh perspective from a new attorney can give your appeal the edge it may need. The Law Center’s skilled litigation team will zealously advocate for you at the appellate court level.
If you think that you might need an attorney to help you with one of the issues described above, contact The Law Center’s civil litigation team to set up an initial consultation. We are ready to provide you the zealous and skilled courtroom advocacy you need.
AREAS OF PRACTICE
The laws surrounding acquiring, owning or selling property can be complex. We are experienced in these specialized areas of law, and will advise you about your property transaction.
We can help you with the process of buying or selling real estate. By law, only an attorney can give you legal advice. As your attorneys, we will look out for your best interests.
How can an attorney help you with the process? We can:
- Draft or review your Offer to Purchase – the document that sets forth the terms of a real estate transaction and spells out contingencies that are needed for your protection – and help ensure that all contingencies are satisfied.
- Handle questions of title. This includes ensuring that there is good and clear title to the real estate. If you are the buyer, it includes counseling you on your options regarding how to take title to the real estate, and following up on the issuance of your title insurance policy.
- Counsel you about documents that are advisable when a property is owned by several owners, such as a joint property ownership agreement or a buy-sell agreement.
We can also help you with all aspects of leasing a property, from the inception of a lease to the termination of the lease.
We help our clients manage each aspect of the life of a business, from the organization of the business, to the dissolution of the business.
There are four basic ways to organize a new business, and each type of organization differs in the way it is taxed and how it protects your personal assets from your business liabilities. We will educate you on the types of business organizations available to you, and help you to decide which organizational structure works best for your situation, with an eye toward your goals.
We will listen to your vision as to how you want to run your business, and help you draft documents that set parameters for how business decisions and ownership changes are made in accordance with that vision. By having these planning tools in place when you form your business, you will be prepared for events that are inevitable in the life of a business.
We can also help you when you are ready to sell or dissolve your business. Did you know that there is more than one way to structure the sale of your business? The structure you select will affect how you are taxed.
Whether you have sold your business, or are simply retiring and closing the doors, we can help you dissolve your business entity. We will educate you about what documents to file, and what notices to give to ensure the smoothest transition possible.