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Wisconsin Real Estate Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: I sold my house via land contract. If I need to send the buyer a written notice, does a lawyer need to send it?

I inherited a house from my father and sold it to a friend via land contract in 2014. He has payed the monthly payment regularly until recently. The contract states if a default payment continues for 30 days, I must provide notice thereof, delivered personally or mailed by certified mail, that he... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
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Anthony M. Avery
answered on Oct 31, 2022

You definitely need an attorney. Filing suit for eviction and possession will be critical.

"Foreclose" does not sound applicable, but if it is, you have problems. Lessee will not

leave easily after paying out alot of money, and may sue you in equity. Damage to the...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: In Wisconsin, if a piece of land has no deed, who owns it? Does the state or county owm it?

Title company could not find chain of title, can't find any deed.

Anthony M. Avery
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Anthony M. Avery
answered on Jun 28, 2022

Hire a competent attorney to search the Title. Start with the Tax Records, because either someone is paying property taxes or the County owns it. You may have to go back to Land Patents and then determine Heirship.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: I sold a manufactured home and the new owner never titled it in their name. I requested a new title and received it.

If I have the new title, it is still mine?

Anthony M. Avery
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Anthony M. Avery
answered on Jun 6, 2022

You may have committed fraud. It might be prudent to sign the title over to the purchaser. At least hire a WI attorney to review the situation and explain your risks, both criminal and civil.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning for Wisconsin on
Q: Land split, legal agreement

My brother and I were jointly gifted 20 acres of land in 2008 by an uncle. We have had the land surveyed and are splitting it into two 10 acre parcels (all of this has been completed) We want to draw up a legal agreement between us that neither party can sell their property outside of our family.... Read more »

Anthony M. Avery
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Anthony M. Avery
answered on May 31, 2022

You need a competent WI attorney to draft both Deeds with enforceable Restrictive Covenants in the Legal Descriptions. Your possible contract would only be enforceable between the contracting Parties. Covenants Running with the Land are necessary.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: My grandmother passed away and left me land and a house. There is someone else living on the property. We can't agree.

The person living on the land has destroyed my house that is located in front. What can I do?

Anthony M. Avery
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Anthony M. Avery
answered on Apr 18, 2022

You will have to hire a competent WI attorney to search the title, get the title in your name of record, then sue the occupant for Ejectment, Trespass and Damages.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Unmarried, both on deed, what happens if he dies?

My partner and I own a house together and have one minor child together. He has no other children and does not have a will. If he were to die, what would happen with the house? Would I be able to take over the mortgage? Would I be responsible to pay off his car and credit cards before I could do... Read more »

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton
answered on Nov 9, 2021

Hello, if you are unmarried and own the house together it will depend on how the title to the home is held. This will be reflected on the deed when you purchase the property. If you are both on the title to the property, then it depends on if you hold title as "Joint Tenants with Rights of... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Probate for Wisconsin on
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... Read more »

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton
answered on Sep 10, 2021

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... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Government Contracts, Land Use & Zoning, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: we bought a property the rental of the land was not included in with the bill of sale do we have to honor the contract?

Nothing was signed by us and we didn't even know it existed. we waited for wheat to be done being harvested and now want to get rid of them so that we can plant our trees.

Nina Whitehurst
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Nina Whitehurst
answered on Jul 24, 2021

Your question cannot be answered without more information. Is there a written lease agreement? You will need to get a copy of that. Have you tried talking to the tenant about his intentions? Did the seller represent that there were no leases?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Does a realtor have to present a buyer's offer? Can I ask for proof that our offers were presented to the seller?

We have put offers in on multiple properties. We started to offer on the last home on a Thursday. On Monday the realtor asked that we remove a home sale contingency and wrote a new offer that was signed on Monday.. Then on Wednesday they informed me that I had to sign the document again as my... Read more »

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton
answered on Jun 15, 2021

I am sorry to hear about this situation. If your realtor is using the standard offer to purchase form (WB-11 - Residential Offer to Purchase), which is promulgated by the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services, then there is a line at the bottom the realtor should complete that... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: If 3 people are on a deed for a house in WI joint tenancy and one person dies. The person who died

has debt. Can creditors come after his portion of house?

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton
answered on May 3, 2021

If the creditor's lien or mortgage was recorded prior to the joint tenant's death, the property will pass subject to the lien. There is a Termination of Decedent's Interest Form you can file with the Register of Deeds to remove the joint tenant's name from the title to the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: I have vacant land inherited from my father who passed last year. The property is held in a Revocable Trust.

All heirs have signed a disclaimer of abandonment. As trustee, can I still sell the land?

Anthony M. Avery
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Anthony M. Avery
answered on Apr 27, 2021

The Trust is probably Irrevocable now. Hire a competent attorney to search the Title. As Trustee you may or may not be able to sell the land as the fiduciary. At worst, all interested Parties, Trustee and Beneficiaries, can convey as grantors unless there is a future interest estate created by... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Can legally transferred land be just taken back?

My husband and I were given land (paperwork was signed by both parties for the ownership transfer). The prior owner is upset about something and thinks he can call the county and just take the land back. This land had been in our name for years now and is also included in the assessment of our... Read more »

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

If the land was legally transferred by deed, and your name is now on the title to the property, the previous owner cannot take it back unless you sign a deed granting the land back to them either by gift or by sale. The only other way I can think of for the previous owner to get the property back... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Does a title company have to notify the buyer and seller of a house of any encumbrances they discover prior to closing?

After closing on a home, the county contacted me saying the property lines for the home I just bought are incorrect. After speaking with the county, the title company contacted the county about this issue. However, the title never notified myself or the seller about this issue prior to closing.

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton
answered on Nov 13, 2020

I would carefully examine your title insurance policy on the home to see if the issue was discovered during the title search and discuss this issue with a real estate litigation attorney in your area. The title company should have run a title search before issuing the title insurance. If the issue... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: My brother is providing me with $40,000 down payment to purchase a primary residence.

The amount is intended to be a gift. Would he need to pay taxes on the amount over $15,000 or could this be claimed under the lifetime exemption? If it’s taxable, would agreeing to repay the amount upon sale of the property turn it from a gift to a loan?

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

Currently you can gift up to $15,000 per person per year, without filing a federal gift tax return. Therefore, your proposed gift of $40,000 from your brother would be over this amount. He could gift you $15,000 this year and $15,000 in 2021 without filing a gift tax return, or if he is married, he... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: How do I get dads house titled in my name when he died in 1988 and I have lived there ever since and taxes come care of

Dad had no will and I have been living there and paying taxes that come in his name in care of me. My brothers and I split everything and i got the house but never got the deed changed and now i am older and need to get it in my name.

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

Hello, I think you are going to need to work with a probate attorney, to get the house transferred from your Father's name to your name. If there was a probate when he died, the deed to the house should have been changed at that time. If you inherited the house via deed, there may be a way to... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: I'm buying a duplex that has a month to month. When am I able to communicate with the current tenant?

I'm looking to provide 28 day notice so I can move in and owner occupy.

Matthew Williams
Matthew Williams
answered on Aug 27, 2020

Nothing keeps you from communicating with them whenever you want. You can't give them notice until you actually own the place though.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Can a real estate lawyer help me with rent to own property

The process

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton
answered on Aug 25, 2020

If you are buying a property on a land contract, I recommend you have it prepared or reviewed by your own attorney before entering into such a contract. Often these types of contracts can favor the drafter (the person preparing the contract) so if you are considering entering such a contract it is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for Wisconsin on
Q: What is the best way to set things up for if I pass before he does?

I purchased a home before I meet my husband. The deed and loan are in my name only. I would like for things to just go to him so he has a home with our children.

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton
answered on Jul 20, 2020

There are a couple of ways you can go about this. Depending on how the title to the deed reads now, you could pass this to your husband via deed, or via your Will or Trust at death. Doing it in your estate plan (Will or Trust) may make sense, because you still have a mortgage on the property, and... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: If a property behind me can be acessed by public waterway, do I still have to give them an easement through my property?

The property next to me is bordered on the east side by a public waterway on county land. They currently access their land from the west through a gravel lane on my property. The old easement recently expired and I was wondering if I have to renew it.

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton
answered on Jul 13, 2020

In general, if an easement has expired, there is nothing requiring you to grant a new easement to an adjoining landowner. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has held that Wis. Stat. 893.33(6) requires property owners to re-record their easement within 40 years of the original grant, or risk losing the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for Wisconsin on
Q: Best way to buy a house with a child

My son was planning on buying a house but was furloughed due to COVID 19 and isn’t able to get financing. My husband and I are going to purchase the house but our son will make all of the payments. We will eventually transfer the house to him. What is the best way to purchase at this time?... Read more »

Thomas B. Burton
Thomas B. Burton
answered on Jul 13, 2020

If you plan to purchase the home and put your name on the mortgage, I would strongly advise you to purchase the home in your own name. It is not a good idea to purchase property and title it in another person's name, as you will be held responsible for the mortgage if the other person quits... Read more »

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