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Overview

Phil focuses his practice on estate planning, probate and trust administration, business succession planning, marital property and tax planning.

He works with individuals, couples, professionals and business owners to accomplish their objectives while minimizing taxes and expenses and reducing risk. His practice includes planning for unique assets, international considerations and beneficiaries with special needs. He also works with nonprofit organizations on tax and governance issues.

Phil’s notable experience includes:

  • Advising a family on the transfer of their family manufacturing business to the fourth generation with no federal estate tax.
  • Counseling trustees on trust administration issues to successfully defeat claims made by unhappy beneficiaries.
  • Creating co-ownership agreements for an airplane, sailboat and real property.

Phil is a speaker for continuing education courses with the State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE, and he speaks frequently to other professional and community groups on estate planning, business succession planning, marital property and probate. He is a former member of the adjunct faculty at Marquette University Law School.


Industry

Services

Recognition

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Trusts & Estates, 2007-2019; Lawyer of the Year: Milwaukee, Trusts & Estates, 2016, 2018
  • Wisconsin Super Lawyers, 2005-2018
  • Five Star Professionals, Five Star Estate Planning Attorney, 2014-2015, Five Star Wealth Manager, 2009-2013

Education

  • J.D., Marquette University Law School
    • cum laude
  • B.S., Boston College
    • Accounting
    • cum laude

Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Wisconsin
  • Wisconsin
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Wisconsin
  • U.S. Tax Court

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), Fellow
  • State Bar of Wisconsin: Director, Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section Board, 2017-2020
  • Milwaukee Bar Association
  • Milwaukee Estate Planning Forum, past President
  • Mid-Winter Estate Planning Clinic
Experience
  • Recently began advising the third generation of the same family on their estate planning and trust administration.
  • Advised a family on the transfer of their family manufacturing business to the fourth generation with no federal estate tax.
  • Worked with numerous business owners to transition ownership of family businesses to next generation at reduced or no tax cost using gifting, valuation discounts and other tax-saving strategies. Designed estate plans that treat children not involved in the business fairly.
  • Designed estate plans for parents of special-needs children to provide for their long-term care and preserve their eligibility for various benefits.
  • Advised trustees on trust administration issues to successfully defeat claims made by unhappy beneficiaries.
  • Successfully defended estate in Tax Court case involving issues of marital property classification of assets.
  • Assisted in establishing Qualified Domestic Trust for the benefit of a non-U.S. citizen surviving spouse, and the later conversion of that trust to a regular marital deduction trust.
  • Advised clients on the creation of entities to own and preserve family lake homes and hunting lodges.
  • Created co-ownership agreements for airplane, sailboat and real property.
  • Created numerous trusts for the preservation of firearm collections. Worked with owners of regulated firearms to ensure compliance with rules regarding ownership and possession of regulated items.
Community Leadership
  • Marquette University High School Trap, Skeet, and Sporting Clays Teams, Assistant Coach, 2011-present
  • Bishop Leo J. Brust Council 3702 Holding Company, Inc., President of the Board of Directors, 2006-present, Board Member, 1993-present
  • Elmbrook Education Foundation, Inc., Board of Directors, 2010-2013