Wanezek, Jaekels, Daul & Babcock, S.C. Attorneys at Law — Founded 1908

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Get Your Estate Planning Completed Today

I talk to people nearly every week who tell me that they have wanted to get a will and other estate documents completed for a long time, but for whatever reason they have continued to put it off.  I explain to these people the risks of dying without a will or becoming incompetent while they are alive without power of attorneys.  When they hear what could happen if they don't have a will or power of attorneys in place, that is usually all the motivation that a person needs to get these documents completed today. 

Usually most people want and need a basic estate plan with a will and health care/financial power of attorneys.  Your Will may address issues such as who the beneficiaries of your estate will be, who will administer the estate should you pass away (i.e. the personal representative), and who will be guardian for your children.  Other issues may be addressed if necessary.  Sometimes people may want or need a revocable or irrevocable trust depending on their circumstances.  If you die without a will, you risk that your estate will pass to your heirs according to state law.  You might not like that outcome.  You also risk that the state will appoint a guardian for your minor children, a person you might not have chosen or wanted as guardian for your children.  If you do not have a power of attorney for your health and finances, should you become incompetent, you can not have a person act on your behalf without a court order usually obtained through a guardianship proceeding.   A guardianship proceeding can be time intensive, costly, and you are at the mercy of the court's decision as to who is appointed your guardian. 

This article provides you with just a brief sample of the complications that may arise if you do not finalize your estate planning.  Do not wait for something to happen to you.  Make sure you plan for yourself and your family.  Contact Greg Babcock at our office to discuss your estate planning needs further.   

Restraining Orders

A restraining order is a court order that orders someone not to hurt you, to avoid any contact with you, cease harassing you, or require the person to move out of the house.  

In order to get a restraining order, you must file a petition for a temporary restraining order and injunction.  The person seeking protection is called the petitioner and the person you file against is called the respondent.  The Court will decide whether or not to issue a temporary restraining order based on the information that you write in the petition.  If the Court grants the temporary restraining order, a hearing will be scheduled within 14 days.  At that hearing, the Court will decide whether to issue an injunction, which is a final order of protection.  An injunction can be granted for up to 2 years for child abuse and up to 4 years for domestic abuse, harassment, and individuals at risk. 

If a temporary restraining order or injunction is granted, violation of the order is a crime.  If the police believe that the order has been violated, they may arrest the respondent.  However, the respondent must be served with the temporary restraining order or the injunction before the respondent can be found in violation. 

If you would like to find out more information about restraining orders, please contact Greg Babcock at our office for assistance. 

Tags: Family Law Litigation

New Law Favors Land Lord with Tenants involved in Criminal Activity - Eviction Action

Landlords with terrible tenants have a new tool in their kit bag.   A new Wisconsin law creates a new basis to evict a tenant, even where the lease makes no mention of this manner of eviction.   That new basis is applicable when tenants are involved with criminal or drug activity.  When those circumstances occur a landlord may initiate an eviction action.  If the landlord can prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the tenant is involved in criminal activity the courts can award eviction.  This process and law however is brand new.  Court are likely to be cautious in ordering such an eviction, at least in the short term.  The landlord will have to provide credible evidence of the criminal or drug related activity  to evict an unwanted tenant .  Please watch my television interview on the topic. http://www.nbc26.com/news/landlords-close-to-getting-more-power-to-evict-tenants?autoplay=true  Unfortunately such matters of evidence can be complex, you should have an experienced attorney assist you with this type of eviction. 

Contact Attorney David Daul for assistance with evicting a tenant involved in criminal and drug related activity at (920)4347-8191, [email protected]

 

Divorce in Wisconsin

If you or a loved one is faced with a divorce, it is important to know your legal options.  Divorces can be very emotional and complicated and a lawyer can help you navigate through this process.

Wisconsin is a no-fault divorce state.  In other words, the reason for your divorce is largely irrelevant in the Court's eyes.  A court will not penalize you in your divorce because you may have been at fault for the dissolution of the marriage. 

In order to commence your divorce, you need to file a summons and petition for divorce with the Clerk of Court's office in the county where either you or your spouse reside.  After you file the necessary divorce documents with the Clerk of Court's office, you are required to serve the documents upon your spouse.  From the date of filing there is a 120 day minimum waiting period before the Court will grant you with a divorce from your spouse.  Only one spouse is required to state that the marriage is irretrievably broken in order for the Court to grant a divorce.  During the pendency of the divorce proceedings, either spouse can request a temporary order on all issues relating to the divorce including child custody, placement, child support, maintenance, payment of debts, and possession of property. 

At your final hearing in your divorce, the judge will make orders relating to child custody, placement, child support, maintenance, property division, and other relevant matters in your divorce proceeding.  The judge makes orders regarding child custody and placement as it relates to the best interest of the child.  In the event the parties are unable to agree what is in the child's best interest, the court will appoint a Guardian ad litem who will represent the child's best interest and make recommendations to the Court regarding custody and placement of the child.  Generally, child support is calculated based upon placement of the child and the incomes of one or both spouses.  Maintenance is support to one spouse and is awarded in the discretion of the court based upon a number of factors including the length of marriage and earning capacity of each spouse.  Finally, usually the Court will divide property equally between the spouses with the exception of property acquired by either spouse by gift or inheritance. 

This is a general and broad outline of divorces in Wisconsin.  If you would like more information about divorces in Wisconsin, please contact Greg Babcock at our office for your no-cost initial consultation. 

Property Line Encroachments / Neighbor Is On Your Property

Property owners often encounter problems with "encroachment" onto their property from an adjoining property owner.  An example of this might be a situation where a neighbor is mistaken as to where the property line is and builds a structure, such as a garage, pole barn or septic system beyond his own property lines and onto yours.  Often the encroachment is small but it can still have substantial negative effects on your property.  For instance it may reduce the value of the property and its potential resale.   The required Wisconsin real estate disclosure form used in real estate sales requires a seller to disclose known encroachments.  This may scare off a buyer who is otherwise interested in the property.   Further since fixes to encroachments are usually not cheap or easy the encroaching party often fails or refuses to remove the encroachment.  This situation arises often and results in disputes that may lead to the necessity of retaining a lawyer.  Fortunately the law offers a variety of remedies that can result in the moving of the encroachment.  Where the encroaching party refuses to comply, the matter may have to go to court.   Such cases are technically complex requiring specialized knowledge of the law to properly request the needed relief of the courts.  Attorney David Daul at our firm has handled numerous such disputes over the years and is qualified to competently and efficiently assist you in resolving your encroachment issues.  Please contact Attorney Daul at (920) 437-8191 for a free consultation.

Bankruptcy

Sometimes personal levels of debt can reach such levels that, given your income, it is literally impossible to ever pay off the debt. Often times this debt comes from unavoidable expenses such as medical bills. A bankruptcy action allows a legal way to help persons in Green Bay and the surrounding area with hopeless levels of debt to regain their financial footing with dignity. The law allows you to discharge (eliminate) your unsecured debt by filing a bankruptcy action either Chapter 7 or Chapter 13. This process protects you from debt collectors and allows you a fresh start with greatly reduced or entirely eliminated debts. Schedule a free initial consultation with Attorney David Daul to assess your case. Attorney Daul will look at your history, level of debt and determine your eligibility for a discharge. Our process is personal and respectful to persons experiencing one of the most difficult times in their life. Our staff will promptly file your qualified claim to maximize the discharge and meet your goals. Bankruptcy often involves working out arrangements to keep your home and vehicle. We educate our clients about what is possible under the bankruptcy code. We carefully listen to the problems you may be experiencing and craft your bankruptcy plan expertly and competently. Our process is individualized, results in the discharge of unsecured debts and allows our clients to resume their life.

Tags: debt advice bankruptcy

Buying or Selling - We've Got You Covered

HouseAs we enter Spring families begin their search for a new home and homeowners begin thinking about downsizing or increasing the size of their homes.  This means more houses on the market, many of them, ”For Sale By Owner”.  If you find a house that is being sold by the owner, who will help you with your paperwork?  Who will look out for your best interests?  The purchase of a home is the largest purchase a person will make in their lives, don’t take a chance that all will be in your favor.

Our attorneys are well versed on real estate, both the buying and the selling side of the transaction.

Tags: selling buying real estate

Do You Have a Motorcycle License?

WisDOT - Did you know that the Wisconsin Department of Transportation has a "Law of the Month" section on its website? You do now.

Motorcyclists

March's Law of the Month revolves around motorcycle licensure. Motorcyclists will be pulling their bikes out of the garage very soon and are required to be licensed to drive. Find out all about it at http://www.dot.wisconsin.gov/news/law/

If you've made the mistake of driving without your license and gotten caught, our attorneys can help you through the Court process.

Tags: license motorcycle

Bring Legal Questions, More to Score Panel

Green Bay SCORE will give entrepreneurs an opportunity to question a panel of experts when it presents "Let's Talk Business," 5:30-7:30 p.m. May 6 at Rasmussen College, Green Bay.

The workshop will feature David Daul, an attorney with Wanezek, Jaekels, Daul & Babcock; Mike Hall, CPA, and consultant with QuickStart, Inc.; KaraLynne Moore, Senior Analyst with Community First Credit Union; and Bob Jahnke, owner of Top Hat Marketing, Inc.

All are SCORE volunteers.

The panel will field questions from the audience during the open panel discussion. Daul, who specializes in business law and advises and represents clients on every aspect of business, says the No. 1 question he is usually asked relates to the need for a legal entity.

"Most entrepreneurs are wise enough to know that they need something," Daul said. "About 90-95 percent of the time, it will be a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC). This is a better option for small businesses because there are few legal requirements."

With an S-Corp or C-Corp, there will be formalities such as annual meetings, bylaws, agendas and operating agreements, and if these items are neglected, it could result in the loss of recognition of the corporation. The LLC is easy to form online at the Department of Financial Institutions and has one principal necessity.

Daul said: "People need to understand that personal finances have to be separate and distinctions need to be bright and sharp. The corporation is an individual entity, and if the line is blurred, there is a question of whether there is an actual corporation here."

That means that assets and liabilities should go into the corporate name. Personal income and expenses should never be meshed with the business.

Although the LLC is likely best for small startups, the situation could benefit from the assistance of an attorney if it is a partnership. Daul says in this case, the bank likely will want to see an operating agreement that clearly defines the roles of the partners and has procedures in place for any eventuality. He cautions against downloading some boiler plate online that doesn't fit the situation.

"When you get something off the Internet, it might not be tailored to your needs. I have seen people try to use something that met the requirements of a different state and didn't comply with Wisconsin statutes," he said.

As the business grows, an attorney can assist in converting from an LLC to different type of corporation depending on the tax benefits. It's also wise to seek the advice of an attorney when preparing the variety of documents that will be used in day-to-day operations such as employee and company handbooks and policies.

Daul emphasized the importance of getting agreements and policies in writing because the world has never been in a condition where you can safely operate on a handshake.

Another major issue for businesses is the question of whether to lease or purchase real estate, and he recommends giving the business a chance to grow before making a huge investment.

"People come to me all the time, and they want to jump right in," Daul said. "Let the business grow before taking that step and owning an asset that might be hard to sell."

With the legal issues facing businesses being so numerous, Daul will be happy to talk about lease terms, social media, employee issues, discrimination, contracts, online shopping sites, product liability and any other legal topics that participants would like to discuss. Other panel members will be on hand to provide information in their areas of expertise.

Additional information and registration is available at www.greenbay.score.org.

Tina Dettman-Bielefeldt is co-owner of DB Commercial Real Estate in Green Bay and district director for SCORE, Wisconsin.

Tags: SCORE entrepreneurs

Landlord - Tenant Issues?

Landlords and tenants have often found themselves on opposite sides when it comes to moving out. Especially if there is lack of communication on either side. So many variables come into play when a tenant is moving out, not the least of which is:

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What can they take with them?

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Is your security deposit also your last month’s rent?

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What about the water bill?

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Is there any unpaid rent?

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Is there a valid lease?

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Did the tenant give proper notice?

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What is the last day of occupancy?

What can they take with them? Is your security deposit also your last month's rent? What about the water bill? Is there any unpaid rent? Is there a valid lease? Did the tenant give proper notice? What is the last day of occupancy? If you've found

yourself on either side of a Landlord/Tenant dispute, let our attorneys help you work things out.

Tags: landlord tenant

Obtain Legal Help You Can Rely On

To get in touch with one of our attorneys about your case, call our firm at (920) 437-8191 or fill out the form below.