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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

What is an Estate Tax? Is it the same as an Inheritance Tax?

While the terms "estate tax" and "inheritance tax" are often used interchangeably, they are not synonymous. Let's try to clarify the difference.

Estate Tax

Estate tax is based on the net value of the deceased owner's property.  An estate tax is applied to these assets when they are transferred to the beneficiary. It is important to remember that an estate tax doesn't have anything to do with the beneficiary or that person's resources.

Federal estate tax only affects individuals who die with more than $5.45[s1]  million in assets and individuals with such large estates can leave that amount to their beneficiaries without being subjected to a  tax liability. Ninety-nine percent of the population will not owe federal estate tax upon their death.

In most circumstances, no federal estate tax is levied against spouses. As of the Supreme Court's recent ruling, this includes gay married couples as well as heterosexual couples. Federal estate taxes can, however, be charged if the spouse who is the beneficiary is not a citizen of the U.S. In such cases, though, a personal estate tax exemption can be used.  Even where remaining spouses have no liability for federal estate tax, they may be charged with state taxes in some states, taxes which cannot be avoided unless the couple relocates.


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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Adopting a Grown-Up: Top Three Reasons for Adult Adoption

While the vast majority of adoptions involve adults adopting children, all states have laws that permit “adult adoption,” in which a person 18 or older is adopted by another adult as mutually agreed by the parties. Some states may restrict adult adoptions to cases where the person being adopted is of diminished capacity. If the person being adopted is married, some states require the spouse to consent. Other states simply require the two adults to consent to the adoption.


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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Real Estate Contracts in a Nutshell

Buying a home typically involves entering into an agreement with the seller and most real estate contracts contain standard terms. However, it is essential to consult with an experienced real estate attorney who can review the contract. Let's take a look at some of the key terms in a real estate contract.


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Monday, July 2, 2018

What are the different chapters of Bankruptcy?

Chapter 7

Chapter 7 bankruptcy is filed by individuals and businesses unable to pay their existing debts. It is the simplest and quickest form of bankruptcy available. Unsecured debts, including credit cards, medical bills and personal loans, are discharged in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Certain debts, including mortgages, car loans, student loans, and child support arrears, may not be discharged.  An individual is allowed to protect certain assets from being liquidated and disbursed to creditors in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A business that files for Chapter 7 must liquidate all of its assets.  Not everyone can qualify for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection.


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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Mediation: Is It Right For You?

Mediation is one form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) that allows parties to seek a remedy for their conflict without a court trial. Parties work with a mediator, who is a neutral third party. Usually, mediators have received some training in negotiation or their professional background provides that practical experience.


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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

What is the difference between a reorganization and a liquidation?

When a person declares bankruptcy, it must be clear whether the petition asks the bankruptcy court to discharge the debts listed therein or asks to reorganize the debt. An individual files for reorganization under Chapter 13 of the bankruptcy code, while a business uses Chapter 11. Both businesses and individuals may file for a discharge under Chapter 7 of the bankruptcy code.

In liquidation, a bankruptcy trustee collects the assets of a debtor, sells them to make them liquid, and distributes the money among the creditors to pay off as many of the debts as possible. Once this is done, the debts owed are discharged, which means they are permanently canceled. Creditors usually receive much less than they are owed, if they receive anything at all. If an individual asks the bankruptcy court for a discharge, the consequences are limited to the individual’s credit. He or she will likely continue living his or her life normally afterwards, though the assets she or he retains afterwards are limited to those exempt from the bankruptcy. A business, on the other hand, must be dissolved after discharges are granted. It must close its doors, fire all of its employees, terminate pension plans, and cease operations. If a company is large enough, a bankruptcy trustee might sell an entire division to help appease creditors.

A  reorganization is completely different. An individual in reorganization must consolidate his or her debts and work with the bankruptcy trustee to establish a budget to repay creditors over time under more favorable terms. An individual can keep assets that would otherwise be sold and businesses can continue operating normally. In order to qualify, a bankruptcy petitioner must make enough money to pay the debts under a reasonable repayment plan. Even though creditors will receive more money under a reorganization than under a discharge, it will take longer for them to receive any money, and some debts will be cancelled in whole or in part.

Only an attorney is qualified to assess the factors in each person’s unique case can provide advice on whether a liquidation or reorganization is better equipped to resolve that person’s situation.


Thursday, June 7, 2018

Overview of the Ways to Hold Title to Property

You are purchasing a home, and the escrow officer asks, “How do you want to hold title to the property?” In the context of your overall home purchase, this may seem like a small, inconsequential detail; however nothing could be further from the truth. A property can be owned by the same people, yet the manner in which title is held can drastically affect each owner’s rights during their lifetime and upon their death. Below is an overview of the common ways to hold title to real estate:


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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Studying in the United States

The United States boasts some of the most prestigious academic institutions in the world and for many international scholars, it’s the dream of a lifetime to come study at one of them. Unfortunately, acceptance into a school isn’t enough to allow a nonimmigrant to commence studies in the U.S., they also must obtain the appropriate visa. Generally speaking, there are two different types of visas available to students: the F-1 visa and M-1 visa. The desired course of study and the type of school determines which will be needed. An F-1 visa is required to attend university or college, high school, private elementary school, seminary, conservatory or another academic institution (including a language training program). While an M-1 visa is generally required for study at a vocational or other recognized nonacademic institution.


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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Tax Consequences to Keep in Mind During Divorce Property Division

When you are going through the divorce process, particularly the property division process, you may end up focusing on what you are getting and the monetary value of what you are getting. This will do your finances a serious disservice. Considering the tax consequences of what you are awarded during property division could save you a significant amount of money.


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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

What are the powers and responsibilities of an executor?

An executor is responsible for the administration of an estate. The executor’s signature carries the same weight of the person whose estate is being administered. He or she must pay the deceased’s debts and then distribute the remaining assets of the estate. If any of the assets of the estate earn money, an executor must manage those assets responsibly. The process of doing so can be intimidating for an individual who has never done so before.


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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Five Common Bankruptcy Myths

For those who are facing insurmountable debts, filing for Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy may be the only option. However, there are many misconceptions about the process. Let's take a look at five common bankruptcy myths.


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Serving Southeastern Wisconsin, with offices in Milwaukee and West Bend, Affliated Attorneys, LLC represent clients throughout Milwaukee County, Washington County, Waukesha County, Dodge County, Ozaukee County, Racine County, Sheboygan County, Jefferson County, Fond du Lac County and Walworth County.



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