“Plan your legacy now so you can choose how you will be remembered.”
Carolyn represents individuals and families with estate planning, from simple wills to multi-million dollar estates that involve charitable foundations, planned giving, and other tools to enable clients to meet their financial goals while maximizing their philanthropic objectives. Carolyn helps clients plan their charitable giving so that clients can control and direct their charitable gifts and have an immediate impact on their communities while establishing their own personal legacies that will continue for future generations. Carolyn’s estate planning practice involves probate and trust administration, helping families navigate complex legal processes during some of the most difficult times they face.
Carolyn also specializes in assisting non-profit organizations with all aspects of compliance, including organization, tax-exempt status, real estate tax exemptions, ongoing operations and recordkeeping, taxation matters, and other rules and regulations specific to non-profits.
On the business side, Carolyn carries on an active general business practice with a focus on retail law, advertising compliance, and service contracts.
- Assisted large retail client to structure extended warranty and service contract program with potential liabilities in the millions of dollars; advised regarding current and ongoing compliance with state law insurance requirements for licensed warranty plan administrators; developed standard form contracts for clients’ use with customers.
- Developed comprehensive estate plan for client with a substantial estate which included a charitable trust designed to provide ongoing scholarships to residents of client’s hometown.
- Assisted wealthy clients with asset protection planning including the creation of Delaware Asset Protection Trusts.
- Secured tax-exempt bond financing for non-profit organization building medical clinics in underserved parts of Wisconsin; assisted with initial set up and organizational issues, including attaining tax-exempt status, advised regarding legal compliance matters, and handled all aspects of the purchase of real estate locations for the clinics.
- Probated several multi-million dollar estates with a variety of complex assets, including multiple retirement accounts and out-of-state agricultural businesses; assisted in funding credit shelter trusts and advising surviving spouses on using marital property exchange agreements to protect family assets and maximize tax benefits and savings for the trusts and surviving families.
- Non-Profit/Tax-Exempt Organizations
- Estate Planning and Probate
- Real Estate
- Retail Law
Professional Achievements, Honors, and Awards
- Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in Elder Law, Non-Profit/Charities Law, Trusts & Estates (2013-2021)
- Named a Wisconsin Super Lawyer in Estate Planning & Probate, Nonprofit Organizations, Business/Corporate (2009-2010; 2014-2019)
- Named a “Top Lawyer” by Madison Magazine, Consumer and Elder Law
- University of Wisconsin Law School, J.D., cum laude, 1982
- University of Wisconsin – Madison, B.B.A., with distinction, 1978
Community Involvement and Memberships
- Dane County Bar Association
- State Bar of Wisconsin
- American Bar Association
- Member of National “W” Club (past member of Board of Directors)
- Boy Scouts of America (past Treasurer and committee member of Troop 87, past den leader of Pack 87, participant in multiple service projects)
- Member of Executive Women’s Golf Association, Madison Chapter (past member of Board of Directors)
- Member of St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church (Secretary, member of Pastoral Council and Community Concerns Commission, past President of Education Commission, past Treasurer of Home and School Association)
- Assisted various non-profit organizations, including youth basketball program, swim team, and educational non-profits, in setting up and structuring the organization, obtaining tax-exempt status, and providing ongoing support
- After the passage of Title IX, Carolyn was a trail blazer in women’s athletics in Madison and was a member of the first graduating class at UW-Madison where women were allowed to participate in four years of athletics. As a student athlete, Carolyn lettered in crew three years and was a member of the 1977 U.S.A. Rowing Team. After graduation, Carolyn was one of the first female members of the Board of Directors of the National “W” Club, an organization of UW letter winners. Carolyn continues to be an ardent supporter of Badger athletics and other community sports programs for children.