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Questions Answered by Thomas B. Burton
1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Wisconsin on
Q: I am disabled per Social Security, own a home with my mother - tenants in common, and we want to sell it.

She has been in nursing home since April, on medicaid since May,

and plan to move back to CA after the house is sold. Will this cause any problems with medicaid?

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Oct 14, 2019

If your Mother is currently receiving Medicaid benefits, you should examine the Medicaid application she submitted when she first qualified for Medicaid. The application should list the home in which she owns an interest as a tenant in common. If you and your Mother own it together and if your... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: Can an estate be divided by children and living spouse through probate if there was no will?

My mother passed away and my father is mentally disabled (he does not have a guardian, us kids have been taking care of him). The only asset she had was the house. The house is in both of their names. I am wondering if it is possible to for the estate to be divided up by us three kids and my father... Read more »

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Sep 27, 2019

I agree with Attorney Whitehurst you should first examine how title is held on the deed. If it is held as husband and wife as marital property, then your Father would inherit the home entirely without probate upon your Mother's death. If your Mother passed away without a Will, her estate will be... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Am I obligated to purchase a property if it fails sewer and well inspection even if they agree to fix it?

The down payment has been made and the sale was contingent on sewer and well, and we no longer want it

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Sep 23, 2019

This will depend on how the wording of the contract (the Offer to Purchase) was put together. If you said that the purchase is contingent on a sewer and water inspection, this is good. It now depends on if you wrote in that you have the right to rescind the contract if the inspection shows... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Products Liability for Wisconsin on
Q: I own a house in Oconto County, WI. I want to add my fiance to the deed. He has bad credit. Ramifications?

Can a lien be placed on my property because of his bad debt? He is not on the mortgage.

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Sep 3, 2019

I agree with Attorney Gallo, if you add your fiance to the deed of your property, then you are granting him an ownership interest in the property. This means if your fiance has creditors seeking to collect against him, they could potentially seek recovery against your property by placing a lien on... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: My father owns land in Puerto Rico penulas. He has the deed I believe and wants to pass the land to myself and child.

Can he write a will to do so or would we need to transfer the deed?

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Aug 29, 2019

Is your father currently living in Wisconsin or in Puerto Rico? If he is living in Wisconsin, he can execute a Will that leaves the land to you at death. However, upon his death, this will require you to open two probates, one in Wisconsin for his Wisconsin property and a probate action in Puerto... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Is it a law in WI to sell others property without a real estate license and what can be the outcome if caught?

What is the fine or jail time per occurrence? Is it a felony?

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Aug 21, 2019

Wis. Stat. 452.17 provides the penalties for selling real estate without a license and reads as follows:

452.17  Penalties.

(1)  Any person who engages in or follows the business or occupation of, or advertises or holds himself or herself out as or acts temporarily or otherwise...
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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Can you separate ownership of house and land with deed and title documents? Is there another process?

Wisconsin lot with home.

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Aug 14, 2019

In Wisconsin, any permanent structure on the land is included with the deed to the ground beneath it. The only exceptions I know of are mobile homes, where a separate title may be issued for the mobile home by the Department of Safety and Professional Services. It depends on whether the mobile home... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Can a WI Realtor force a seller to purchase title ins for new owner? Why can’t new owner purchase their own title ins?

Are the Realtor and/or WI Title Comp supposed to inform seller with details of all closing costs? In my case, my specific closing cost questions weren’t answered.

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Jul 10, 2019

The standard Wisconsin Offer to Purchase imposes the costs of title insurance on the Seller. So I can tell you this is standard practice in Wisconsin. Realtors are not lawyers, so they are not allowed to draft legal contracts. Instead, they have obtained an exception from the Legislature allowing... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: My mother passed away Nov. 2015. I never received my inheritance can call probate yet

My mother told me that I will will be receiving a parcel land and some cash and the Will

was dated also in 2015

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Jun 19, 2019

If there was a Will, it should have been filed with the probate office at the Courthouse in the County in which your Mother resided when she died. If a probate action was opened, it should be listed online in the Wisconsin Circuit Court Access system. You can go to their website and search using... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: what are the risks to using probate rather than a trust in florida?

My great aunt just passed (she lived and drafted her documents in Florida). her attorney is advising using probate rather than the trust. why do this? what's the point of doing a trust then?

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Jun 12, 2019

If your Aunt has a properly set up Trust, then the best way to avoid probate is often to have the assets pass through the Trust. I do not know the specifics of this situation, but it is possible that your Aunt set up the Trust but did not properly fund the trust (meaning she didn't transfer her... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Home listing -The owner is deceased and the agent says the “kids told him they have right to sell” How do we verify.
Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Jun 12, 2019

I agree with Attorney Greller, whoever is named as the Personal Representative of the Estate (if the owner died with a Will) or the Trustee of the Trust (if the home was held in a Trust) will have the authority to enter into contracts to sell the home. Ask the children for the Letters Testamentary... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Wisconsin on
Q: In the State of Wisconsin, can a person, who has an activated HCPOA, execute a new HCPOA with a different designee?
Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Jun 3, 2019

As long as the principal (the person who created the Health Care Power of Attorney "HCPOA") is mentally competent, and is not currently incapacitated as is defined in the document, they are free to execute a new HCPOA, and name a new Agent to act for them in the event of their incapacity, at any... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: We have a cabin & have 2 sons. We want to give one son 1/2 of what the cabin is worth. Say it's worth $150,000.

We would give the one son $75,000. Say when we die the one that has the cabin wants to sell. He would be pocketing $150,000. We realized the other son only got $75,000. This is not right though. So would we write up that the one son that got the cash would get another $37,500? Which would then be... Read more »

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on May 28, 2019

It depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If I understand correctly you want to gift $75,000 in cash to one son today. Instead of cash, you plan to leave the other son your cabin at death. You could order an appraisal of the cabin now and figure out what it is worth. If it is worth exactly... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: My father passed away and I am the sole heir, his girlfriend lives in his house for 5 years and does not pay rent.

Can I change the locks on his garages while we try to get her out of the house?

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on May 21, 2019

You should see if your father executed a Will before he died. If he had a Will, this document will state what was to happen to his assets and should name a Personal Representative in charge of the Estate. Your Father's house is now owned by his Estate, and unless his Will stated that his girlfriend... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: My daughters father died in a accident 3/22. He had no will, lived in Mn & Fl and owns $500k...how do I start probate?

His name is Troy T Gambucci age 46. Died in Az, lived in Mn and Fl. He has 2 properties in Florida in only his name no liens. His mom, Pam Karahalios(Dickerson) age 69 lives in the house in Shakopee, Mn with him. He just closed on a house he owned March 6 and profit of $90k went into his business... Read more »

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on May 16, 2019

Hello, I am sorry to hear about the passing of your daughter's father. The previous advice you received is correct, if your daughter's father passed away without holding the real estate in Florida and Minnesota in a Trust, then a probate action will likely need to be opened in both states for the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Wisconsin on
Q: how To avoid loosing a house to the nursing home so my moms significant other won’t become homeless in wi

Moms health starting to decline may need more assistant with care

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Apr 30, 2019

If your Mom is married to the person in question, the community spouse can remain in the home, while the other spouse (called the institutionalized spouse) applies for Medicaid. This would allow the community spouse to continue living in the house until their death, after which the State of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: How will you know when you are no longer in Probate ?
Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Apr 22, 2019

Your lawyer should tell you when the probate process has been concluded and the Court has closed the Estate. If you do not have a lawyer, you can check the status of the case online on the Wisconsin Court system website. You just need to know the case number, or the name of the deceased, and the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: My brother and I inherited land when our mother passed away my aunt's own a portion of said land

I asked my aunts to buy us out or were selling our portion there making things difficult although we inherited it legally , 1 aunt is saying it's private property and that we can't sell our portion .

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Apr 22, 2019

You will need to look at the deed to determine how you took title to the land to figure out what to do next. I recommend you pay a real estate lawyer to examine it for you and then lay out your best options in this situation. If you and your brother own an interest in the property, and you hold... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Wisconsin on
Q: As a beneficiary of my recently deceased parents, how can I obtain a copy of their initial Will, which was drawn up by

an attorney many years ago? Last August, 2018, it was then revised, of which I did receive a copy (of that revised one).

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Apr 17, 2019

The old Will was likely revoked when they executed the new Will. You can only have one Will at a time, so when you execute a new Will you usually include specific language revoking the old Will. The other way to revoke a Will is by physically destroying it. It is possible your parents shredded or... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: I received a domiciliary letter as personal rep for my brother's estate. What else is needed to list and sell the house?
Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Apr 1, 2019

If you have received Domiciliary Letters from the Court and have been appointed as Personal Representative for your brother's Estate, then you now have authority under state law to act on behalf of the Estate. This means you can now go about listing the home for sale, and or hiring a realtor as... Read more »

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