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Wisconsin Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: Wisc home deed lists husband and wife grantee what happens upon death of spouse? What should it say to pass to survivor?

No mortgage

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Apr 26, 2021

Hello, if you want the property to pass to the surviving spouse non-probate upon the death of the first spouse, you can title the property as "John Smith and Jane Smith, husband and wife as survivorship marital property" for example. "survivorship marital property" is the key... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: What are the steps to file Mom's will with Wisconsin probate? It is a pour over will.
Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Mar 9, 2021

Hello, if it is a Pour Over Will it sounds like it was designed to be used with a trust. So first I would examine all of the assets and see if there are any that have not already been titled in the name of the trust. All assets that were placed inside the trust do not need to go through probate, as... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Consumer Law and Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: Mom passed away June 2020 with only $300 in her checking & a car loan.

She had a car loan that was upside down. It has been repossesed already. The bank is saying we (me & my 2 brothers) will owe the difference of what they get at auction & what she owed. None of us were on the loan with her, it was solely hers. Do we actually have to pay that? Keep in mind... Read more »

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Nov 18, 2020

The good news about death, is that the debts of the decedent die with them. I am sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. Any debts she owed at her death would be owed by her estate. So if she only had $300 total to her name and that is the total amount in her estate, this is the limit of what... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: Should I allow my dad to add me to the deed of our family home? What potential liability or risk is involved?

There is still a mortgage and home equity loan on the home along with other debt my dad owes and my husband and I are looking at selling a buying a new home in the next few years.

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Nov 11, 2020

I often advise clients not to add their children to the title of their home, because it can inadvertently expose the parent to creditor claims of the child through divorce, bankruptcy or a lawsuit. However, for you, if your Dad adds you to the title to the home, you would immediately become liable... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: My son and daughter in law died. DIL had life ins with my son as beneficiary. Does that policy get spllit in the estate?
Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Oct 8, 2020

I am sorry for your loss. If your daughter-in-law named your son as the primary beneficiary, then he would receive the proceeds if he survived her. If she named a contingent beneficiary, then that person would receive the assets if your son did not outlive the survival period outlined in the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: I'd like to know how I end the easement on my property.
Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Oct 7, 2020

There is no one answer to this question. Whether you have the ability to end the easement, is going to depend on a variety of factors, including the original language in the document in which the easement was granted. I suggest reviewing the deed with the easement language in it with a qualified... Read more »

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 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 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 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 Estate Planning and Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: So my grandfather died and left money to all of his grandchildren; including me. I was a minor at the time.

So my grandfather died and left money to all of his grandchildren; including me. I was a minor at the time.

My mom quicky brushes it away after I talk to her. She says I will get it when I'm 25. (I'm 22 now.) On the court document it says *my brothers name* on behalf of me- waived... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Mar 22, 2020

Hire an attorney right away. I have seen this scam before. After a period of time the statute of limitations expires and you lose your right to claim the money that was stolen by a relative that was supposed to turn over the money to you. You are an adult now and have the right to see all of the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: forms need, as trustee, and beneficiaries of irrevocable trust with less than $100000 in assets desire to terminate

Need forms for Wi irrev. trust with trustee and beneficiary agreement, less than $100000 in assets to terminate trust?

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Feb 21, 2020

I recommend you review the trust agreement itself to see if it has a provision about "uneconomical administration" where it lays out a procedure whereby you can terminate the trust. If not, you may need to rely on the provisions of the default Wisconsin Trust Code. In some instances, it... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: My mother was placed in an assisted leaving facility by my sister. My sister was named executor of the estate.

My sister wants to sell my mothers home to her daughter to get rid of the reverse mortgage balance of $82,000.00

The home is valued at approximately $190,000.00 . Can she legally sell the home for less than Fair Market Value just because she wants to get rid of the reverse mortgage and... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Feb 13, 2020

There are many issues raised in this scenario. First, to sell any property of your mother for less than fair market value would be a breach of fiduciary duty on the part of your sister. Second, any sale for less than fair market value with be counted as a "gift" and if your mother ever... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: Can a personal rep accept a home offer of a will that is part of 3 kids. He is one of the kids

The offer is 15k under market value

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

Generally, the Personal Representative named in the Will is in charge of managing the property owned by the Estate and distributing it according to the scheme laid out in the Will. This usually includes the power to list and sell real estate, unless the will directs some other plan for the real... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: Where can I find an attorney to create a revocable living trust for my wife and I?
Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Jan 24, 2020

The Justia Lawyer directory is a good place to start. I recommend looking for an attorney who focuses their practice on estate planning to provide you with the best advice possible in this area. You can review different attorney profiles and websites to find one that best fits your needs. In my... Read more »

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