Mike, who is now retired, was one of only 1,066 lawyers in the United States who had been listed for 30 consecutive years in Best Lawyers® in America in the area of trusts and estates. With his extensive experience he assisted clients in preserving their estates and ensuring that upon death, their wealth was transferred according to their desires.
He also served as Chair of the firm’s Estate Planning Practice Group.
Mike is a co-author of the three volume treatise “Marital Property Law in Wisconsin” (Fourth Edition 2009), the standard reference in the field. He assisted in the drafting of the marital property law which became effective January 1, 1986. Wisconsin is the first state to change from a common law property law system to a community property system.
Beside marital property, Mike had a special interest in the Wisconsin inheritance, gift, and estate tax laws and authored articles and chaired seminars on the subject for the State Bar of Wisconsin. Wisconsin repealed its inheritance tax effective January 1, 1992, and suspended it’s estate tax beginning January 1, 2008.
In the area of estate planning he guided clients through:
- revocable living trusts
- testamentary trusts
- irrevocable trusts,
- gift tax returns
- charitable foundations,
- prenuptial agreements,
- durable powers of attorney
In the area of administration, Mike assisted clients with the administration of estates and trusts and estate tax and fiduciary income tax returns.
Mike had significant experience in litigating marital property, trusts and estates and estate and inheritance tax issues at the trial and appellate court levels.
Mike represented individuals from all walks of life in need of legal advice in the estate planning arena.
- Successful representation of two clients before the Wisconsin Court of Appeals involving the application of Wisconsin’s marital property law to benefits provided by the Wisconsin Retirement System (Employee Trust Funds), the consequences of mixing marital property with non-marital property and the deferred marital property election.
- Successful representation of client at the trial court level and Wisconsin Court of Appeals, involving the application of the Wisconsin estate tax law to an estate.
- Successful defense of a trustee sued for alleged breaches of fiduciary duties.
- Many successful representations of clients subject to federal and Wisconsin inheritance and estate tax audits.
Articles / Presentations
- Co-author of the three volume treatise “Marital Property Law in Wisconsin” (Fourth Edition 2009), the standard reference in the field
- “Planning in the Face of Adversity: Wisconsin and Federal Estate and Gift Taxes”, 84 Wisconsin Lawyer (March 2011)
- “Wisconsin’s New Estate Tax”, 74 Wisconsin Lawyer 10 (December 2001)