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Questions Answered by Thomas B. Burton
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 Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Can a real estate lawyer help me with rent to own property

The process

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Aug 25, 2020

If you are buying a property on a land contract, I recommend you have it prepared or reviewed by your own attorney before entering into such a contract. Often these types of contracts can favor the drafter (the person preparing the contract) so if you are considering entering such a contract it is... 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 Real Estate Law and Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: What is the best way to set things up for if I pass before he does?

I purchased a home before I meet my husband. The deed and loan are in my name only. I would like for things to just go to him so he has a home with our children.

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

There are a couple of ways you can go about this. Depending on how the title to the deed reads now, you could pass this to your husband via deed, or via your Will or Trust at death. Doing it in your estate plan (Will or Trust) may make sense, because you still have a mortgage on the property, and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: If a property behind me can be acessed by public waterway, do I still have to give them an easement through my property?

The property next to me is bordered on the east side by a public waterway on county land. They currently access their land from the west through a gravel lane on my property. The old easement recently expired and I was wondering if I have to renew it.

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Jul 13, 2020

In general, if an easement has expired, there is nothing requiring you to grant a new easement to an adjoining landowner. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has held that Wis. Stat. 893.33(6) requires property owners to re-record their easement within 40 years of the original grant, or risk losing the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Best way to buy a house with a child

My son was planning on buying a house but was furloughed due to COVID 19 and isn’t able to get financing. My husband and I are going to purchase the house but our son will make all of the payments. We will eventually transfer the house to him. What is the best way to purchase at this time?... Read more »

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Jul 13, 2020

If you plan to purchase the home and put your name on the mortgage, I would strongly advise you to purchase the home in your own name. It is not a good idea to purchase property and title it in another person's name, as you will be held responsible for the mortgage if the other person quits... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Tenants in common transfer without a will

The deed to our family cabin In Wisconsin lists my mom and her deceased brother as tenants in common. He passed away 9 years ago without a will. How do we get his name off the deed?

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Jun 15, 2020

When a tenant in common passes, their interest in the property passes to that person's estate. If your Mom's brother passed away with no Will, he died what we call "intestate" therefore his property would pass according to the Wisconsin rules for intestate succession in Chapter... Read more »

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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 Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: My cousin and I co own our deceased grandparents property. How do I make sure my half goes to my daughter when I die?

We both want our children, not the surviving owner, to inherit our shares. We both (my cousin and I) live in the state of WI and the property is in MI. Does the inheritence info go into our deed or each of our wills?

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

The answer to this question will depend on how title to the real estate is held with your cousin. If you hold it as joint tenants, then the survivor of either of you would inherit the deceased person's interest. However, I think it is more likely that you hold it as tenants in common because... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Can a condo board president (unpaid position) also be the condo association office/property manager (paid position)?

My condo board president is also the office manager. Because of this, she really does not have anyone to hold her accountable. She makes up rules that are not in the condo docs, only enforces certain rules/regulations in the condo docs and then breaks other ones herself. She has harassed me to the... Read more »

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

I am sorry to hear about this difficult situation. The answer to this question will likely depend on what the Condo Board Bylaws say. I would obtain a copy of the Bylaws from a member of the Condo Board and then review them carefully to see what they say about conflicts of interest and whether the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Is there someone in Baraboo that could review purchase documents for a house we are closing on 05/15? I am wondering if

we should have an attorney go over the paperwork and possibly accompany us to our closing? This is the first home we are buying and we do have a realtor, we are just not sure how all of this work.

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on May 12, 2020

Justia has an attorney listing service. I would do a search for attorneys in the Baraboo area who practice real estate law and contact some of them to see if they could review your documents before the closing. There are also other attorney listing services you could use to locate attorneys in the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: How does a land contract work. The seller still has a mortgage on the house. What will happen if the seller dies. .

My father-in-law would like to sell my husband and I his house on a land contract. My father-in-law still has a mortgage on the house currently but he was diagnosed with Cancer and put on Hospice. Can we use a land contract to obtain the house.

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Apr 27, 2020

You should examine the mortgage documents carefully. Usually, the bank will have a lien on the house, as a secured interest on the property, superior to all of the other lien holders. Therefore, if your father-in-law should die, his heirs (the people he names in his Will if he has one, or the heirs... 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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: My mother recently passed, she did not have a will, and has very little assets (about $1200 after mo bills are pd).

No home, no car, no investments , no life insurance, no death benefit on her pension income, just household items. Do I have to set up a probate case? How do I handle her remaining medical bills. She has no other debt, just medical bills that exceed her assets. Do we have to sell her household... Read more »

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

I am sorry to hear about the passing of your Mother. In Wisconsin, for small estate less than $50,000 in value, there is a transfer by affidavit process to transfer assets when the total value of the estate is less than $50,000. In this case, if there are no financial assets, and no real estate,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: I need to know if my sister was allowed to give my cousins money from our inheritance

No wills

Uncle Billy passed away estate years before my Uncle Bobby passed away. My mother inherited my uncle's bobbies estate because she was alive when he passed away So when my mother passed away my mother's inheritance from my uncle Bobby's estate went to her three... Read more »

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Apr 14, 2020

If both Uncle Billy and Uncle Bobby passed away without a Will, then the Estate of each one would be governed by the Wisconsin basic rules on intestate succession. Those rules are found here in Chapter 852.01. Under Chapter 852.01(2) there is a survivorship requirement, and that requirement is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: my brothers inherited our family farm the property was never split,my brother left his half to me how do i claim it
Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Apr 8, 2020

The answer to this question depends on whether your brother left you his half through his Will, or through a trust, or by deed. Depending on which instrument he used, you will need to examine the instrument itself. If he left it through a Will, it is likely a probate action will be needed in... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Seller did not record easement as stated in the signed offer to purchase contract, Now sold his house. Do I lose rights?

My "residential offer to purchase" agrees to ingress egress easement from neighbor owner for parking. "seller shall deliver a written assessment in recordable form". Seller owned both homes at the time. 10yrs using easement access, the seller never recorded the easement and just... Read more »

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Feb 28, 2020

I am sorry to hear about this situation. Did the seller ever deliver the written assessment to you in recordable form? If so, it sounds like it may have been your responsibility to record it as the new buyer. Does the offer to purchase explicitly state who is supposed to record the easement? I... Read more »

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