For attorneys

Trust Account Program

All documents are in Adobe PDF PDF format unless otherwise stated.

The OLR Trust Account Program has two primary goals: 1) to oversee compliance with the Wisconsin Supreme Court's overdraft reporting requirements; and 2) to educate lawyers with respect to safeguarding funds and maintaining proper records. For further information, please see the Trust Account Program's Annual Report.

Overdraft reporting and IOLTA agreements

All Wisconsin IOLTA accounts are subject to both overdraft reporting and IOLTA requirements. In order to comply with these requirements, lawyers and law firms must enter into the following agreements with an IOLTA participating financial institution:

The Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation (WisTAF) maintains a list of IOLTA participating institutions (external link).

NOTE: Non-IOLTA trust accounts that are draft accounts are also subject to overdraft reporting. Fiduciary accounts are subject to overdraft reporting unless an alternative to overdraft reporting is in place. See overdraft reporting, for a list of the alternatives. Fiduciary accounts and non-IOLTA trust accounts must not be subject to an IOLTA agreement. [See SCR 20:1.15(c)(2) and SCR 20:1.15(k)(3)].

In the news

Guidance on paying eFiling fees: Circuit court eFiling is available throughout the state and is mandatory in many Wisconsin counties. However, the Wisconsin Supreme Court Rules relating to e-banking in trust accounts will impact how lawyers manage the payment of filing fees. For guidance from OLR on the payment options, read more.

SPD payments, including direct deposit: In order to receive payment at the conclusion of a representation, lawyers appointed by the State Public Defender's Office (SPD) must submit their hours and expenses to the SPD. If the expenses include fees owed to a 3rd party, such as an investigator, Wisconsin's trust account rules come into play. Read more.

Be alert for suspicious ACH transactions: Lawyers should be aware that there is a far shorter period of time for lawyers and other business people to notify their financial institutions of suspicious ACH transactions in corporate accounts than there is for consumers to report such transactions in personal accounts. Read more.

Trust account-related rules and record-keeping guidelines

Topics of interest to lawyers

For guidance on a variety of topics relating to trust and fiduciary accounts, including electronic transactions, please explore the following links:

Practice tips

For guidance on dealing with common trust account problems that occur in certain specialized practice areas, including bankruptcy, criminal law, real estate, and personal injury, please use the following links:

Education and resources

For further information, contact Mary Hoeft Smith, Trust Account Program Administrator, by phone at (877) 315-6941 or e-mail at mary.hoeftsmith@wicourts.gov.