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Wisconsin Estate Planning Questions & Answers
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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: Is it normal to pay yourself a wage for working on the estate?

To save on costs, us 4 siblings are doing the house clean up, painting, items inventory to be sold off. One sibling has been keeping track of the hours worked on the estate (but hasn’t asked us to do the same, but claims she has been keeping track for us) doing all this and wants to pay us all an... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jan 12, 2020

You can do that if you all agree but keep in mind that by doing so you are converting tax free inheritance money into taxable ordinary income.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: My condo is in an irrevocable family trust and I am the trustee. My husband has died and what happens if I remarry?

I will have a name change and nothing in the trust addresses this.

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Dec 23, 2019

The name change is not an issue. If it needs to be addressed at a future time in connection with the sale of trust property it can easily be done at that time. You should consult with an attorney before you remarry to make sure you understand the effect of remarriage on your rights under the trust.... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: Adult child dies after being raised by father and stepmother. Does the mother still have right to 50% of his estate?

Adult child was 59 years old and had seen his estranged mother 1 time since before he was a teenager. His father and stepmother raised him and he lived with them until he passed. He died and named his estate as the beneficiary of his 401k. He had a named beneficiary for life insurances and... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Nov 20, 2019

If he had no surviving spouse or children, yes, that is quite likely. THAT is why it is important for everyone to have an estate plan. Reason #1 (out of at least a dozen reasons), is to make sure your stuff goes to who you want.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: If my father said in his will I am to be paid first payment of a trust before 12/31/19 of the year of his death?

Is the above upheld regardless of when probate ends?

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Nov 18, 2019

If the trust was created by the Will, such as a testamentary trust created inside his Will, then the trust may not come into effect until the probate has finished. It depends on the wording of the Will. If the Trust was created on its own, outside the Will, then the Trust should not have to go... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: what are the risks to using probate rather than a trust in florida?

My great aunt just passed (she lived and drafted her documents in Florida). her attorney is advising using probate rather than the trust. why do this? what's the point of doing a trust then?

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Jun 12, 2019

If your Aunt has a properly set up Trust, then the best way to avoid probate is often to have the assets pass through the Trust. I do not know the specifics of this situation, but it is possible that your Aunt set up the Trust but did not properly fund the trust (meaning she didn't transfer... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: We have a cabin & have 2 sons. We want to give one son 1/2 of what the cabin is worth. Say it's worth $150,000.

We would give the one son $75,000. Say when we die the one that has the cabin wants to sell. He would be pocketing $150,000. We realized the other son only got $75,000. This is not right though. So would we write up that the one son that got the cash would get another $37,500? Which would then be... Read more »

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on May 28, 2019

It depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If I understand correctly you want to gift $75,000 in cash to one son today. Instead of cash, you plan to leave the other son your cabin at death. You could order an appraisal of the cabin now and figure out what it is worth. If it is worth exactly... Read more »

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