Hostak, Henzl & Bichler
840 Lake Avenue, Suite 300Racine, WI 53403
Phone: 262-632-7541

Family Vision Experience

Steve Smith has developed a unique, user-friendly process called The Family Vision Experience™. We help you create and implement a vision to enrich and empower your family and to build a legacy for future generations.

Why Some Clients are Using Loose Trusts in their Estate Plans

By Stephen J. Smith The Family Vision Experience™ Although not an actual case, it is inspired by many cases we have handled. Our clients put their daughter through college; she graduated debt free. She has a stable job with bright prospects, working for a fine employer. She is in good health and is careful with money:.. Read More

Why I Prefer WisPACT for Special Needs Trusts

By Stephen J. Smith The Family Vision Experience™ My approach in recent years has been to work with WisPACT for when a parent is contemplating a special needs trust for a child. They have created two master trusts, one where a person is putting his own money into such a trust (often referred to in legal.. Read More

Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRUTs)

By Stephen J. Smith The Family Vision Experience™ Key learning over a career of estate planning: almost everyone should consider a charitable remainder trust as part of their estate plan. In creating well defined rules, Congress created highly useful planning opportunities: In 1969 Congress passed legislation meant to reform an area of abuse – where.. Read More

The Family Vision Snapshot/Timeline

By Stephen J. Smith The Family Vision Experience™ Explanation of Concept The goal is to create a simple tracking tool to avoid losing sight of the big picture. Think horizontal timeline, with hash marks representing various points in time. At certain intervals which you select, you enter the date, draw a line up from the.. Read More

Protecting a Child (or Grandchild) in the Event of Divorce

By Stephen J. Smith The Family Vision Experience™ In a hypothetical case, imagine that a married couple has a 25-year-old son living in Wisconsin. The son has a girlfriend and is in a stable relationship with her. Marriage is not on the immediate horizon. The girlfriend has career aspirations that could require significant investment. She.. Read More

Perspective on Estate Taxes for Wisconsin Residents

By Stephen J. Smith The Family Vision Experience™ In 1976, the lifetime exemption from Federal estate taxes was $60,000. By 1987 the exemption was $600,000. By the time President George W. Bush had taken office, it was scheduled to increase to $1 million by 2006, but in the summer of 2001, Congress enacted scheduled increases.. Read More