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Questions Answered by Sarah Lynn Ruffi
2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Can you transfer your half ownership in a house to the other half owner with a quit claim deed or a title transfer?

In-laws put home in life estate to two sons about 10 years ago. Mom has passed, dad has been in nursing home for a year and will never be able to live on his own again. Husband wants to sell his half of the home to his brother. We need the easiest way to do this, without a realtor if possible.

Sarah Lynn Ruffi
Sarah Lynn Ruffi answered on Oct 15, 2019

Yes, you can transfer your half ownership in the house either with a Quit Claim Deed or a Warranty Deed. There will be a transfer fee ($3.00 per $1,000 of value) to be paid, along with the recording fee.

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: We gave our tenants a 30 day notice. Now they are refusing to pay this months rent. Can we give them a 5 day quit notice

So can we ask them to get out in five days?

Sarah Lynn Ruffi
Sarah Lynn Ruffi answered on Oct 14, 2019

Yes. If they are a month-to-month tenant, §704.17, Wis. Stats., allows you to give either a 5-day or 14-day notice for failure to rent. If they are under a lease for one year or less, §704.17(2), Wis. Stats., allows you to give them a 5-day notice to pay or vacate. No prohibition against... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: My parents died six months apart the will was revised but not signed when my mother died, why is probate required?

My father died in March due to an auto accident. My mother died in September due to another auto accident. My mother had received the will revision but didn't sign it before her passing. The home had been in both parents name and both had their own wills, which were identical. Why are we... Read more »

Sarah Lynn Ruffi
Sarah Lynn Ruffi answered on Oct 29, 2018

The law in Wisconsin requires a probate to be opened in a person's estate is worth more than $50,000.00. Based on your facts, your mother owned a home when she died and had assets totaling $85,000 that need to be distributed. The only way to distribute those assets (regardless if her Will was... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Do Wisconsin home sellers have to disclose dead trees that pose a major safety concern?

We just purchased a home in February (Wisconsin) on a wooded lot. As spring and summer has brought the outdoors back to life, we have come to the disheartening realization that two giant oak trees are dead. These trees are set in to our patio and are located about 15 feet from our house. These... Read more »

Sarah Lynn Ruffi
Sarah Lynn Ruffi answered on Aug 27, 2018

The seller was required to complete a Real Estate Condition Report, which covers many areas of the structure and property conditions. However, the health of trees and vegetation on the property are not included in the representations. Therefore, the sellers likely had no obligation to disclose... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: can a landlord have you move before lease is over for no reason or any reason on the notice
Sarah Lynn Ruffi
Sarah Lynn Ruffi answered on Aug 21, 2018

Your question is not very clear. It depends what the notice says and what your lease says.

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims and Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: Renters debt now 10 years old. Am I liable to pay this debt back now? The collector/owner is requesting that I do.

I live in WI. I did not pay balance owed, because they never repaired what was broken when I put in a work request for it, on the condition of major appliances leaking or not operational. I moved from there in 2008 because of the non repaired appliances. I reapplied for this apt. complex in 2018... Read more »

Sarah Lynn Ruffi
Sarah Lynn Ruffi answered on Aug 21, 2018

Your landlord had 6 years from the date the debt accrued to file a lawsuit or be time barred from pursuing it. This is what the statute of limitations says. Your main options are: 1) refuse to pay the balance because the landlord didn't do anything to collect before the statute of limitations... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Mergers & Acquisitions, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: Can my previous property management company hold me to the lease of a company they bought out?

I started renting with Company A and after 2 years they were bought out by Company B. Surprisingly, the buy out was on the month that our lease was up. Company A had told us that everything would be settled and we would be put on a month to month with Company B but would have to sign a lease with... Read more »

Sarah Lynn Ruffi
Sarah Lynn Ruffi answered on Apr 23, 2018

In order to be able to give you an informed answer, I would need to see the lease. If your lease was assignable and if your lease included a 60 day termination provision for a month-to-month tenancy, then you are probably stuck with the 60 day notice period.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: If a deed is in my name, am I the rightful owner of the real estate no matter who paid for it?

My former roommate paid for a garage in the Condo Development we lived in. I own the Condo so had to put the Garage Deed in my name due to Condo bylaws. Roommate has moved out and wants the money if the garage is sold. Is that garage legally mine no matter who paid for it? Would he have any... Read more »

Sarah Lynn Ruffi
Sarah Lynn Ruffi answered on Apr 23, 2018

The Statute of Frauds requires that any agreement pertaining to an interest in real estate must be in writing to be enforceable. If the title to the garage is in your name, that means that you likely own it. The most pertinent question is what type of agreement was there when the garage was built... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: 1950 plat map shows 5 foot utility easement. Should there be a record showing how the easement can and cannot be used.

Can landowners block or build upon the dedicated easement?

Sarah Lynn Ruffi
Sarah Lynn Ruffi answered on Apr 23, 2018

You should be able to get a copy of the actual recorded easement from the Register of Deeds or a title company.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: what to do when you have a date set for May 1st to sign paperwork and move 2 new house and seller wont move until june

we have closing date set for May 1st 2018 and the seller is now saying that he will not be signing paperwork until June 15th and will not be moving out until at least june 15th. he has had over 3 months to find a new place and pack. we have contract signed, sets date for signing at bank and the... Read more »

Sarah Lynn Ruffi
Sarah Lynn Ruffi answered on Apr 23, 2018

It depends on the closing date set in the Offer to Purchase. If the closing date in the accepted Offer to Purchase is May 1, 2018 and the Seller refuses to close, you can pursue your options based upon the Seller's default under the terms of the Offer to Purchase.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: My parents have 2 homes on their property in the country am I legally able to live in the other home?

They need help around the land and want their grandkids to love closer, so we are considering moving to the other home. Homes are about 100 feet from each other and were built at the same time. One was built as a mother in law home. We just want to be sure that this is legal.

Sarah Lynn Ruffi
Sarah Lynn Ruffi answered on Apr 23, 2018

Your parents have the right to allow anyone they wish to live in the other home. If you do move into the other home, you may want to have a written agreement with your parents outlining the expectations of your occupancy to avoid problems in the future.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: Is there any legal way to disown my mother and my sister?? I want nothing to do with my moms estate when she passes

I want nothing to do with my sister also when dealing with my moms estate. I basically want to erase any obligations i would have it either would pass away.

Sarah Lynn Ruffi
Sarah Lynn Ruffi answered on Apr 23, 2018

When your mom passes, you can disclaim any inheritance.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: How can an affidavit be filed if there was a will.

I'm the PR on the will but I'm not an heir. The person that passes didn't name her child on the will because she did not want her on the will but the heir filed an affidavit. Will she get what she is asking for?

Sarah Lynn Ruffi
Sarah Lynn Ruffi answered on Apr 23, 2018

The Will would need to be filed with the Probate Court in the county where the decedent last resided. The child would then need to challenge the Will and argue to the Court why the Will should not be deemed valid.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: My son at just 41 years old passed on. He was living with a woman but not married. As his mother I am next of kin.

How do I access his belongings? He also has two precious children. What are my grandparent rights?

Thank you kindly for your time,

Sarah Lynn Ruffi
Sarah Lynn Ruffi answered on Apr 23, 2018

Sorry for your loss. His children are his beneficiaries and legal heirs. The children are the ones who would receive your son's assets and belongings.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: If your Mother is in a nursing home and she inherits $100,000. Who gets the money...nursing home or remaining children?

The mother has a bad case of Alzheimer's.

Sarah Lynn Ruffi
Sarah Lynn Ruffi answered on Apr 23, 2018

Since Mother has Alzheimer's, she should have a financial power of attorney (would need to have been signed prior to the Alzheimer's diagnosis) or a guardian appointed by the courts (if no power of attorney). The person in charge of Mother's money (Power of Attorney or Guardian) should be the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: Wisconsin Lease termination question

On 1/31/18 my mother signed a lease for an apartment that begins on 4/1/18. She has since decided to move in to an assisted senior residence, though it is not out of medical necessity. Is there any way to terminate the lease prior to 4/1/18 without penalty? They are trying to say that she will be... Read more »

Sarah Lynn Ruffi
Sarah Lynn Ruffi answered on Apr 23, 2018

Assuming that your mother is competent to sign the lease, she likely has an enforceable contract. However, the landlord has a duty to mitigate its damages, which means that the landlord is responsible to use reasonable efforts to find a new tenant.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Q: I signed a lease but the copy my landlord gave me does not have my signature on it. Is this lease still valid?

I’m wondering if it is legally binding being that my copy doesn’t have my signature on it.

Sarah Lynn Ruffi
Sarah Lynn Ruffi answered on Apr 23, 2018

If you signed a Lease and the landlord gave you a copy of the same document, you most likely have a valid lease.

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims and Collections for Wisconsin on
Q: Judgement paid in full need satisfaction letter. Who do I contact?

Paid judgement in full. Need to file with the courts to purchase a house. Who do I call to get satisfaction of judgement?

Sarah Lynn Ruffi
Sarah Lynn Ruffi answered on Apr 23, 2018

You should contact the creditor.

1 Answer | Asked in Collections for Wisconsin on
Q: In a medical practice, if I have patients sign a billing policy indicating these details, can I then charge them

Them , should they go to collection, the collection fee I would be charged, in addition to their paying the bill owed?

Sarah Lynn Ruffi
Sarah Lynn Ruffi answered on Apr 23, 2018

It depends what details are included in your billing policy. Presumably, your patients would be individual so the transactions would be covered by the Wisconsin Consumer Law, which imposes limits on what a consumer can be charged. For example, you cannot charge reasonable attorney fees to collect... Read more »

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