Wisconsin Adopts New Trust Code

Wisconsin trust law will take on a dramatically new look when 2013 Wisconsin Act 92 takes effect on July 1, 2014. This act adopted the Uniform Trust Code, with minor modifications, as the law of the land in Wisconsin. Wisconsin’s adoption now raises to 27 the number of jurisdictions that have enacted the model statute since 2000 (26 states and the District of Columbia).

More notable aspects of the new law include the following:

– The ability to use nonjudicial settlement agreements to resolve trust disputes is expanded.

– Wisconsin testamentary trusts will no longer be subject to continuing court supervision unless it is ordered in response to a petition requesting such supervision.

– Pet trusts are specifically permitted.

– The Wisconsin Act includes a statute regarding “decanting” of trusts, which will provide significant flexibility in trust planning.

– “Directed parties” and “trust protectors” are specifically permitted and offer opportunities and protections to the settlor of a trust.

Overall, many of the provisions of the new Wisconsin Trust Code allow flexibility in planning which will benefit clients who wish to have a trust manage their assets. Further, it allows greater flexibility in addressing existing trusts that might no longer be accomplishing the trust’s purpose. If you have any questions about creating, managing or modifying a trust, our experienced attorneys are here to assist you.

Neuberger, Wakeman, Lorenz, Griggs and Sweet has served clients from our offices in Watertown, Lake Mills, and Waterloo since 1922. Our firm regularly serves clients located in Dodge County, Jefferson County, Dane County, Columbia County, Washington County, and Waukesha County, the communities of the Watertown, Lake Mills, Waterloo, Johnson Creek, Reeseville, Ixonia, Oconomowoc, Sullivan, Jefferson, Cambridge, Columbus, Deerfield, Marshall, Juneau, Fort Atkinson, Beaver Dam, Hartford, Madison, Sun Prairie, Monona Grove, Cottage Grove, McFarland, Stoughton, Edgerton, Delafield, Pewaukee, Dousman, Hartland, Brookfield, and Waukesha, and all of Wisconsin.