Questions Answered by Sarah Lynn Ruffi

Q: My parents died six months apart the will was revised but not signed when my mother died, why is probate required?

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for Wisconsin on
Answered on Oct 29, 2018
Sarah Lynn Ruffi's answer
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 signed) is through the probate process.

Q: Do Wisconsin home sellers have to disclose dead trees that pose a major safety concern?

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Answered on Aug 27, 2018
Sarah Lynn Ruffi's answer
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 the health of any trees on the property.

Q: can a landlord have you move before lease is over for no reason or any reason on the notice

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Answered on Aug 21, 2018
Sarah Lynn Ruffi's answer
Your question is not very clear. It depends what the notice says and what your lease says.

Q: Renters debt now 10 years old. Am I liable to pay this debt back now? The collector/owner is requesting that I do.

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims and Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Answered on Aug 21, 2018
Sarah Lynn Ruffi's answer
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 ran; or 2) reach an agreement on what you are willing to pay if you want to live in the complex.

Q: Can my previous property management company hold me to the lease of a company they bought out?

1 Answer | Asked in Mergers & Acquisitions, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Answered on Apr 23, 2018
Sarah Lynn Ruffi's answer
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.

Q: If a deed is in my name, am I the rightful owner of the real estate no matter who paid for it?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Answered on Apr 23, 2018
Sarah Lynn Ruffi's answer
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 and the use of the money.

Q: 1950 plat map shows 5 foot utility easement. Should there be a record showing how the easement can and cannot be used.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Answered on Apr 23, 2018
Sarah Lynn Ruffi's answer
You should be able to get a copy of the actual recorded easement from the Register of Deeds or a title company.

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

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Answered on Apr 23, 2018
Sarah Lynn Ruffi's answer
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.

Q: My parents have 2 homes on their property in the country am I legally able to live in the other home?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Answered on Apr 23, 2018
Sarah Lynn Ruffi's answer
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.

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

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law and Probate for Wisconsin on
Answered on Apr 23, 2018
Sarah Lynn Ruffi's answer
When your mom passes, you can disclaim any inheritance.

Q: How can an affidavit be filed if there was a will.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Answered on Apr 23, 2018
Sarah Lynn Ruffi's answer
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.

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Wisconsin on
Answered on Apr 23, 2018
Sarah Lynn Ruffi's answer
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.

Q: If your Mother is in a nursing home and she inherits $100,000. Who gets the money...nursing home or remaining children?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Wisconsin on
Answered on Apr 23, 2018
Sarah Lynn Ruffi's answer
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 person to receive possession of the money, which should be used for Mother's care.

Q: Wisconsin Lease termination question

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Answered on Apr 23, 2018
Sarah Lynn Ruffi's answer
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.

Q: I signed a lease but the copy my landlord gave me does not have my signature on it. Is this lease still valid?

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for Wisconsin on
Answered on Apr 23, 2018
Sarah Lynn Ruffi's answer
If you signed a Lease and the landlord gave you a copy of the same document, you most likely have a valid lease.

Q: Judgement paid in full need satisfaction letter. Who do I contact?

1 Answer | Asked in Small Claims and Collections for Wisconsin on
Answered on Apr 23, 2018
Sarah Lynn Ruffi's answer
You should contact the creditor.

Q: In a medical practice, if I have patients sign a billing policy indicating these details, can I then charge them

1 Answer | Asked in Collections for Wisconsin on
Answered on Apr 23, 2018
Sarah Lynn Ruffi's answer
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 a consumer debt. You should have your billing policy reviewed by an attorney to make sure that you are not violating the Wisconsin Consumer Law.

Q: My stepfather died I hv power of attorney. Want to sell his van but has lean on it frm quick title loan. Do we hv to pay

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation, Contracts and Probate for Wisconsin on
Answered on Apr 23, 2018
Sarah Lynn Ruffi's answer
The loan was your stepfather's debt, which must be paid using your stepfather's assets (i.e. the van). Since your stepfather passed away, your power of attorney is no longer valid. You probably need to file a probate and obtain Domiciliary Letters to deal with the Quick Title loan.

Q: I have a note against the company I work for. I loaned the company money. How can I collect the money?

1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Collections and Employment Law for Wisconsin on
Answered on Apr 23, 2018
Sarah Lynn Ruffi's answer
It depends on the actual language of the note.

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