Middleton, WI asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Probate for Wisconsin

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 although we haven't been informed of an exact amount. So I'm guessing we will have to pay the state with the proceeds from the sale of the home? We plan to transfer through affidavit. Also, does it matter that it won't be sold for fair market value? We live in Wisconsin.

1 Lawyer Answer
Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Eau Claire, WI
  • Licensed in Wisconsin

A: 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 certified mail before you can proceed with transferring the assets. Review Wis. Stat. 867.03 for full details. Estate Recovery should then send you a letter with the amount of the claim that will need to be repaid from the assets of the Estate. If you use the Transfer by Affidavit method you still need to pay all of the debts of the decedent first before you could distribute any remaining assets to the heirs. There is more information about transferring a mobile home title here available from the Department of Safety and Professional Services https://dsps.wi.gov/Pages/Programs/MH/Default.aspx See below about the obligations of the Affiant under a Transfer by Affidavit:


(a) By accepting the decedent's property under this section the heir, trustee, person named in the will to act as personal representative, or person who was guardian of the decedent at the time of the decedent's death assumes a duty to apply the property transferred for the payment of obligations according to priorities established under s. 859.25 and to distribute any balance to those persons designated in the appropriate governing instrument, as defined in s. 854.01, of the decedent or if there is no governing instrument, according to the rules of intestate succession under ch. 852, subject to par. (b). An heir, person named in the will to act as personal representative, or person who was guardian of the decedent at the time of the decedent's death may publish a notice to creditors in the same manner and with the same effect as a trustee under s. 701.0508. This paragraph does not prohibit any appropriate person from requesting administration of the decedent's estate under s. 856.07 or ch. 865.


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