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Wisconsin Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: Can a irrevocable trust be used by a legal guardian of parent in nursing home?

Worried that they will use it for their own benefit.

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Oct 3, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: Why would anyone use an irrevocable trust as part of their estate plan?
Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Sep 25, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: is a person listed on a affidavit responsible for anything when they sell everything and give all the money to her

brother life partner.ex taxes

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Sep 5, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: Does the executor of an estate get paid for their work?
Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Aug 22, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: Im searching for an attorney to do my living will i am on a fixed income.
Bryan Thomas Kroes
Bryan Thomas Kroes answered on Aug 9, 2018

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: What kind of trust is best for me if I am remarried after a divorce and have adult children?
Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton answered on Aug 4, 2018

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: Is a handwritten, signed, dated, non notarized change on a revocable trust legal in WI? This cut out 1 of the 5 children

My wife is the co-executor (along with her stepsister) of her stepmothers trust. She made this amendment 1 year before her death and told both of the executors verbally. She had intentions of going to a lawyer to finalize this but never made it. She also included justification for this change... Read more »

Michael Hales
Michael Hales answered on Jun 29, 2018

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...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: How can an affidavit be filed if there was a will.

I'm the PR on the will but I'm not an heir. The person that passes didn't name her child on the will because she did not want her on the will but the heir filed an affidavit. Will she get what she is asking for?

Sarah Lynn Ruffi
Sarah Lynn Ruffi answered on Apr 23, 2018

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Wisconsin on
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.

How do I access his belongings? He also has two precious children. What are my grandparent rights?

Thank you kindly for your time,

Sarah Lynn Ruffi
Sarah Lynn Ruffi answered on Apr 23, 2018

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.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: If your Mother is in a nursing home and she inherits $100,000. Who gets the money...nursing home or remaining children?

The mother has a bad case of Alzheimer's.

Sarah Lynn Ruffi
Sarah Lynn Ruffi answered on Apr 23, 2018

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)... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Elder Law and Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
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.

Are there ways to make this purchase while protecting the mother's assets? Alternative financing? Not using a real estate broker? Do siblings need to agree to the sale?

William F Sulton Esq.
William F Sulton Esq. answered on Apr 6, 2018

Your mother can transfer the property to you at any time by signing a deed. She could also use a will or trust.

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1 Answer | Asked in Wrongful Death, Estate Planning and Probate for Wisconsin on
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.

How do I access his belongings? He also has two precious children. What are my grandparent rights?

Thank you kindly for your time,

Peter N. Munsing
Peter N. Munsing answered on Feb 26, 2018

Contact an estate attorney in the county where he was living. They can best discuss those issues.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for Wisconsin on
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

In her will it states how much I paid towards the HP/escrow(x) throughout the years. It also states If any remaining mortgages & property expenses due (Y)and owing on my residences exceed the amount of kelly's purchase price after the credit is given. then her purchase price shall be... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Feb 2, 2018

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...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for Wisconsin on
Q: In Minnesota the eldest son inherits the family cabin unless being informed declines. What is the law in Wisconsin?

According to a banker I know with a lot of experience.

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Sep 12, 2017

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: In Wisconsin is it legal to sign your real estate over to a relative prior to your death?

It used to be that it had to be a number of years prior to death. But someone told me that you can not do it at all any more.

Daniel J. Krause
Daniel J. Krause answered on Jul 20, 2017

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... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: My mother-in-law (age 75) would like to pay off her daughter's mortgage ($110K). Loan vs Gift?

My sister-in-law collects SSI for a special needs son. If she is given the money, it will disqualify her for SSI. My mother-in-law has suggested a low or no interest loan that would be forgiven in her will. They live in Wisconsin. What are the legal issues that need to be considered.

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jul 19, 2017

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... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: Mom passed away before a deed transfer to me could be signed by her. I'm still paying the mortgage but what now?

My mother had became very ill In late February. She wanted to transfer the deed into my name upon her death, sadly she passed away last monday before she could sign the paperwork. I know she wanted me to have the home I just don't no what to do now. She don't owe much on it maybe 9,000.... Read more »

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on Jul 4, 2017

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: Will outstanding medical bills have to be taken out of my estate when I pass away ?

I am responsible for paying off my late husband's considerable medical bills because Wisconsin is a community property state.( he had cancer ) I am hoping that I can leave any money I may have at the time of my death to my son.I have no other debt and do not own any property.I am 60 yrs old.

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on May 15, 2017

Assuming you otherwise meet the means testing you can file bankruptcy to eliminate that debt. If your spouse were still alive you could have signed a post nup to prevent the debt from attaching to joint assets, but that ship has sailed. The only way to avoid the creditors from going after your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for Wisconsin on
Q: Will medical debts be passed on to my child ( over 18 ), the spouse is deceased ? Does the estate have to pay them ?

I am paying off my late husband's medical bills, and will still not be paid by the time I die. I am 60 years old. I hope any meager amounts I may have in savings, etc. will not have to go to this bill.

Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi answered on May 12, 2017

Depending on circumstances, YOU may not have to pay your husbands bills. Your children certainly won't. Before you make another payment, I would strongly suggest you consult with a local attorney to review the paperwork and bills to determine if you can walk away. Don't be afraid to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: Wills and trusts

My great grandpa dies back in September 2008 and my uncle was labeled as the trustee and he has simply diluted what was give to me to other family members with in his family also ive been alienated from the family since the passing of my great grandpa. My great grandpa lived in Wisconsin and his... Read more »

Jonathan R. Roth
Jonathan R. Roth answered on Mar 23, 2017

You have to file a Complaint in Wisconsin.

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