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Wisconsin Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Unmarried, both on deed, what happens if he dies?

My partner and I own a house together and have one minor child together. He has no other children and does not have a will. If he were to die, what would happen with the house? Would I be able to take over the mortgage? Would I be responsible to pay off his car and credit cards before I could do... Read more »

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Nov 9, 2021

Hello, if you are unmarried and own the house together it will depend on how the title to the home is held. This will be reflected on the deed when you purchase the property. If you are both on the title to the property, then it depends on if you hold title as "Joint Tenants with Rights of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: how long can creditors claim on the estate in WI?
Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Oct 27, 2021

After an application for administration has been filed (a probate court action has been initiated properly with the probate court) creditors have from 3-4 months to file their claim. The Court will set this deadline for a formal administration or the probate registrar will set the deadline for an... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: My dad is going into hospice and passing soon. The house is in his name but has a loan out on the house.

He has no will. If he passes does the house transfer to me and I take over payments or does the bank get it. I’ve been living there for years

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Oct 13, 2021

Hello I am sorry to hear about your father. If he has no Will or Trust, then the house and any of his other assets subject to probate would pass according to the laws of intestacy. If you are the only living child, you may be an heir, but if there are other children, or a surviving spouse, then... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Arbitration / Mediation Law and Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: Our family cabin has 6 owners listed as tenants in common. One of the owners changed the locks and will not give keys.

What legal right do they have to do this and what are the other owners rights for seeking entry into their own property?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 22, 2021

A co-owner does not have the right to exclude another co-owner. You can take the owner that locked you out to court for a variety of remedies but probably the best remedy in the long run would be for you to obtain a court order to force the sale of the property and then split the proceeds. If you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: My mother-in-law died 2 weeks ago without a will. Wondering about selling her home & claims from Medicare.

Her spouse is deceased & my spouse is her only living child. Her mobile home has a fair market value of $25K but we will end up selling for $13K & have a willing buyer. The home is paid off & there are literally no other assets. She most likely has up to $10K owed through medicare... Read more »

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Sep 10, 2021

Yes, you are correct you can use the Transfer by Affidavit method to transfer the mobile home if the total probate assets of the deceased subject to administration are less than $50,000. There is a section on the Transfer by Affidavit where you must send notice to the Estate Recovery Program via... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Government Contracts, Land Use & Zoning, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: we bought a property the rental of the land was not included in with the bill of sale do we have to honor the contract?

Nothing was signed by us and we didn't even know it existed. we waited for wheat to be done being harvested and now want to get rid of them so that we can plant our trees.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jul 24, 2021

Your question cannot be answered without more information. Is there a written lease agreement? You will need to get a copy of that. Have you tried talking to the tenant about his intentions? Did the seller represent that there were no leases?

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: If a will is signed by the testator on one date and the witnesses on a different date is the will still good?

will created and signed in California for a now Wisconsin resident

Charles E. Hutchinson
Charles E. Hutchinson answered on Jul 8, 2021

That depends on certain situations. In general, for a will, the witness must be present when witnessing the signing and also sign indicating that they witnessed the signing. However, during the Pandemic, the Governor of Illinois issued and executive order (2020-14) which allowed for the use of... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: Wisc home deed lists husband and wife grantee what happens upon death of spouse? What should it say to pass to survivor?

No mortgage

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Apr 26, 2021

Hello, if you want the property to pass to the surviving spouse non-probate upon the death of the first spouse, you can title the property as "John Smith and Jane Smith, husband and wife as survivorship marital property" for example. "survivorship marital property" is the key... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: What are the steps to file Mom's will with Wisconsin probate? It is a pour over will.
Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Mar 9, 2021

Hello, if it is a Pour Over Will it sounds like it was designed to be used with a trust. So first I would examine all of the assets and see if there are any that have not already been titled in the name of the trust. All assets that were placed inside the trust do not need to go through probate, as... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Consumer Law and Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: Mom passed away June 2020 with only $300 in her checking & a car loan.

She had a car loan that was upside down. It has been repossesed already. The bank is saying we (me & my 2 brothers) will owe the difference of what they get at auction & what she owed. None of us were on the loan with her, it was solely hers. Do we actually have to pay that? Keep in mind... Read more »

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Nov 18, 2020

The good news about death, is that the debts of the decedent die with them. I am sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. Any debts she owed at her death would be owed by her estate. So if she only had $300 total to her name and that is the total amount in her estate, this is the limit of what... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: Should I allow my dad to add me to the deed of our family home? What potential liability or risk is involved?

There is still a mortgage and home equity loan on the home along with other debt my dad owes and my husband and I are looking at selling a buying a new home in the next few years.

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Nov 11, 2020

I often advise clients not to add their children to the title of their home, because it can inadvertently expose the parent to creditor claims of the child through divorce, bankruptcy or a lawsuit. However, for you, if your Dad adds you to the title to the home, you would immediately become liable... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: My son and daughter in law died. DIL had life ins with my son as beneficiary. Does that policy get spllit in the estate?
Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Oct 8, 2020

I am sorry for your loss. If your daughter-in-law named your son as the primary beneficiary, then he would receive the proceeds if he survived her. If she named a contingent beneficiary, then that person would receive the assets if your son did not outlive the survival period outlined in the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: I'd like to know how I end the easement on my property.
Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Oct 7, 2020

There is no one answer to this question. Whether you have the ability to end the easement, is going to depend on a variety of factors, including the original language in the document in which the easement was granted. I suggest reviewing the deed with the easement language in it with a qualified... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: Can I sign Wisconsin Power of Attorney documents, as the alternate agent, 9 years after they were drafted?

Power of Attorney documents were drafted for my father, with my sister and I listed as primary and alternate agents. I was living out of state when they were drafted, and didn't sign them, but everyone else did. Also, my address and phone number listed in the documents are not current.

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Sep 18, 2020

Hello, I cannot be certain without examining the document completely, but it sounds like you are talking about the line on the document where sometimes the Agent signs to acknowledge that they have been named as Agent (usually somewhere after the principal's signature). I know at my office it... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: My Aunt does not have any children and wants to leave money to me. I have a trust for my children.

She wants to leave the money she has to my trust and not spend more money on one of her own. Can she do this? Can someone leave assets to a trust where they are not the grantor?

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Sep 10, 2020

This is a very interesting question. While it might be possible for her to leave a bequest to your trust, for tax reasons, it might not be desirable. I think you should examine carefully what type of assets she wants to leave to the trust, and the language of your own trust with an experienced... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: Is there a form that would allow me to deny any money willed to my children by their grandparents?

Is there a form (like a pre-nup) but a "Post-nup" per say that I could fill out stating I don't want any of my husbands money if he should pass and it should go to our kids?

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Aug 26, 2020

If/when your husband passes away you can work with an attorney to complete a disclaimer, and if your children are the next named beneficiaires in the Will or Trust it would go to them. If your husband is still alive, you could have him alter his estate planning documents now to accomplish this... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: My dad died 6 years ago & his house is still in his name even though I live in it. How do I get it in my name w/out atty

I have my dad's Will. It names me and both my brothers as the homeowner's in the event of his death. My brother's want to quit claim deed their share to me since I live in the house and need to get it in my name to get homeowner's insurance on it. I was told it has to go through... Read more »

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Aug 5, 2020

I am sorry to hear about your father's passing. I would suggest either saving up the money to hire an attorney to help you get the house through probate, or attempting to open the probate process on your own. If the real estate has value (presumably it does since you want to get the house into... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: can I reclaim my inheritance if I signed a disclaimer

I signed my inheritance over to my sister to use if she needed more money for my fathers care, she did not need it, can I reclaim it?

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Jul 31, 2020

I would discuss this question with the attorney handling the estate of your father, or whoever drafted the disclaimer for you to sign in the first place. It is likely it is too late to take back the disclaimer, unless this occurred very recently, however there may be a way for your sister to gift... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: My grandmother past away without a valid will. My mother is in an assisted living facility and has a state payee. How

Can I go about getting the money transferred to me and I disburse it to my mother and I without giving it to her payee.

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Jun 11, 2020

If your grandmother passed away without a Will, someone is going to have to petition to open a probate case for the Estate in the County in which your grandmother resided at death. Then someone will also have to volunteer to serve as Personal Representative (aka Executor) of the Estate (likely one... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Social Security for Wisconsin on
Q: I am in Wisconsin. I receive SSI. I received a check from MetLife after my sister's death. I was a beneficiary. It was

$7900. I have to keep my resources under $2000 for SSI. I want to spend the money on my sister's funeral costs. Can I do that? What do I do with the check?

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Apr 20, 2020

Hello, I am sorry to hear about the death of your sister. If your sister's Estate had no other assets, and there are funeral debts outstanding, then in a situation where you were not receiving SSI benefits you could use that money to pay for her funeral. However, normally, her Estate would pay... Read more »

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