Wisconsin Estate Planning Questions & Answers

Q: My father is buried in a dbl plot. My mother just passed and was cremated. We have the will with her wishes

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Wisconsin on
Answered on Feb 5, 2019
Thomas B. Burton's answer
I would check with the person in charge of the Cemetery to see if they have any rules about who is allowed to bury the ashes. Generally, I have had other clients say they were allowed to bury an urn in a burial plot they own. It sounds like your father has a double plot so he should be able to do this for your Mother's ashes. However, I would double check with the staff at the Cemetery before going ahead and doing burying the ashes yourself.

Q: My Mother had left me 50% of her home, but was sold for her care.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Wisconsin on
Answered on Dec 13, 2018
Thomas B. Burton's answer
Hello, I am sorry to hear about your situation. This sounds like a situation where perhaps your Mother was receiving Medicaid assistance to pay for her long-term care? There are not enough details here to answer your question fully, but if your Mother left you 50% of her home in her Will (let's say), but she was receiving Medicaid assistance during her lifetime, then the State of Wisconsin will put a lien against her home while she is in the nursing home. After the passes away the State will...

Q: Will my American will still be valid if my spouse and I pass away while living abroad?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Answered on Nov 28, 2018
Thomas B. Burton's answer
Yes, your Will will still be valid in the United States if you should pass away while living abroad. As long as you are a United States Citizen and maintain residency in one of the 50 States in the United States, then the laws of the state where you have established domicile should govern and your Will formed under the laws of that State will be valid. This assumes that you die with property subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and the state where you have established domicile. If...

Q: Can a irrevocable trust be used by a legal guardian of parent in nursing home?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Answered on Oct 3, 2018
Thomas B. Burton's answer
If your question is whether the legal guardian can access the trust funds, it depends on whether the legal guardian is also the person named as trustee in the trust. If they are named as trustee then they will have the power to access and manage the trust funds for the benefit of the trust beneficiaries. You will have to look at the text of the trust document to see what the exact terms of the trust say. Usually these types of trusts are set up for the benefit of the settlor (the person who...

Q: Why would anyone use an irrevocable trust as part of their estate plan?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Answered on Sep 25, 2018
Thomas B. Burton's answer
There are many reasons to use an irrevocable trust, but here are two quick ones. One, an irrevocable trust can be used to remove assets from your taxable estate, so if you have an estate that exceeds the current estate tax exemption levels ($11.18 million per person) you may want to use an irrevocable trust to transfer wealth to future generations. Second, irrevocable trusts are also used for asset protection purposes, such as when you want to engage in Medicaid Planning or other forms of asset...

Q: is a person listed on a affidavit responsible for anything when they sell everything and give all the money to her

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Answered on Sep 5, 2018
Thomas B. Burton's answer
I am not sure I understand your question. Are you referring to the Transfer by Affidavit used for probate estates worth $50,000 or less in Wisconsin? If so, the person who completes this Affidavit is swearing to collect the property and assume a duty to transfer the property according to the Wisconsin State Statutes. Below is the operative language:

By accepting the decedent’s property under this section, I assume a duty to apply the property transferred for the

payment of...

Q: Does the executor of an estate get paid for their work?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Answered on Aug 22, 2018
Thomas B. Burton's answer
Yes, in Wisconsin we call the Executor of an Estate under a Will a "Personal Representative" and the Personal Representative is entitled to 2% of the inventory value of the property for which the personal representative is responsible, less any mortgages or liens plus net principal gains for their services, subject to approval by the Court. See Wisconsin Statute 857.05(2) which I have reproduced below:

(2) Services. Subject to the approval of the court the personal representative...

Q: Im searching for an attorney to do my living will i am on a fixed income.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Answered on Aug 9, 2018
Bryan Thomas Kroes' answer
A living will is an excellent addition to any estate plan. It is a good idea to consult an experienced attorney to assist you with that process.

Q: What kind of trust is best for me if I am remarried after a divorce and have adult children?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Answered on Aug 4, 2018
Thomas B. Burton's answer
A revocable living trust will provide a variety of good options for you. You could structure your trust so that after you pass your assets provide income for life to your current spouse, with the principal passing to your children upon your surviving spouse's death. You could also provide your surviving spouse with a lifetime interest in your home (held in trust) and immediate cash gifts (if desired). Furthermore, you can provide for yourself in the case you are ever incapacitated and unable to...

Q: Is a handwritten, signed, dated, non notarized change on a revocable trust legal in WI? This cut out 1 of the 5 children

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Answered on Jun 29, 2018
Michael Hales' answer
I'm a little confused with some of the facts here, but I can answer any questions you have about the timeshare matter. I recently wrote an article about legal options regarding timeshares that you can access here: https://www.targheelaw.com/article

If you have any questions about that issue, let me know. Otherwise, I recommend reaching out to a local attorney in Wisconsin regarding the other issues. Some may be willing to negotiate a fee agreement based on those potential future...

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: What is the best way for an adult child to buy her mother's house? Mother is in assisted living, house is paid off.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Elder Law and Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Answered on Apr 6, 2018
William F Sulton Esq.'s answer
Your mother can transfer the property to you at any time by signing a deed. She could also use a will or trust.

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 Wrongful Death, Estate Planning and Probate for Wisconsin on
Answered on Feb 26, 2018
Peter N. Munsing's answer
Contact an estate attorney in the county where he was living. They can best discuss those issues.

Q: I had a land contract with my mother so she could stay in her house, However, she passed away before I took out a loan

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Wisconsin on
Answered on Feb 2, 2018
Kenneth V Zichi's answer
Well, this is quite the pickle.

If I understand correctly you have a land contract where you are BUYING your mother's house for x dollars, but there is a mortgage against it in your mother's name for y dollars. The question is not whether X plus Y > value of the house. It is whether or not X>Y. If you owe your mom's estate MORE than the mortgage amount, then you should be able to simply pay off the land contract, (which will first and foremost pay the bank mortgage off) and whatever is...

Q: In Minnesota the eldest son inherits the family cabin unless being informed declines. What is the law in Wisconsin?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Wisconsin on
Answered on Sep 12, 2017
Kenneth V Zichi's answer
You are misinformed about MN law. In MOST states (and MN and WI are in that crowd) IF children inherit without a will, ALL children inherit equally. There are situations where children will NOT inherit without a will in MN (For example, if there is a surviving spouse who is also the parent of the children) and that can vary from state to state.

You need to get real legal advice from a licensed attorney (not a 'banker' practicing law without a license!) and I'd urge you to consult with...

Q: In Wisconsin is it legal to sign your real estate over to a relative prior to your death?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Answered on Jul 20, 2017
Daniel J. Krause's answer
You can sign your house over to anyone you like at any time. However, if you do this, it will affect your eligibility for Medicaid for 5 years. If you apply for Medicaid benefits (to pay for Nursing Home care, for instance) within 5 years of gifting your home (or anything else), you will incur a penalty period in which you are ineligible for benefits.

The penalty period is calculated by taking the value of the gift (the home) and dividing it by $7,880.35 and that is the number of months...

Q: My mother-in-law (age 75) would like to pay off her daughter's mortgage ($110K). Loan vs Gift?

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Answered on Jul 19, 2017
Kenneth V Zichi's answer
This is FAR too complex a question for anyone to provide real advice in a forum like this. You NEED to consult with a local elder law / estate planning attorney and provide an opportunity to review all documents and discuss ALL of the situation. There are gift tax implications for a no-interest "loan" as well, and in many situations there will be a mechanism to 'pierce' an artifice which will make such attempts ineffective.

Don't be penny wise and pound foolish. Pay a local attorney...

Q: Mom passed away before a deed transfer to me could be signed by her. I'm still paying the mortgage but what now?

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Answered on Jul 4, 2017
Kenneth V Zichi's answer
If the house was in her name alone at the time of her death you need to go through probate to have it transferred now. Habitat for Humanity mortgages often contain 'unusual' clauses about transferring property so it would be wise to bring the paperwork to a local attorney to review to determine what you can and should do at this point BEFORE you begin any proceedings.

Use the find a lawyer feature of this website to find someone near you who can help!

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