What does it cover and how does it work?

Wisconsin’s Small Estate Affidavit statute allows estates under $50,000 to avoid probate and instead be transferred via affidavit. See Wis Stat. §867.03. It can be used by an heir, a trustee of a revocable trust, a person named in the decedent’s will, or a guardian after the passing of the decedent.

Why use a transfer by affidavit

A transfer by affidavit avoids the costly and time-consuming probate process and thus allows the estate’s assets to pass more quickly.

What assets apply to a transfer by affidavit?

A transfer by affidavit applies to any probate assets cumulatively worth under $50,000. Probate assets are any assets that do not have a specifically designated beneficiary or payable on death (POD) designation. Jointly owned items, such as bank accounts or vehicles with two names on the title, are considered non-probate assets because it is presumed that the property will transfer to the other joint owner upon the death of the other owner. Some examples of probate assets that could be transferred by affidavit include property titled solely in the decedents name such a vehicle, small parcels of hunting or fishing land, or bank accounts with no POD.

What is the process for a transfer by affidavit?

To transfer assets under Wisconsin’s Small Estate Affidavit statute, the heir, trustee of a revocable trust, beneficiary of the decedent’s will, or a guardian of the decedent, must complete the Transfer by Affidavit form. This form includes the name of the decedent’s estate, the total fair market value of the assets, and a description of the assets being transferred. If real estate is being transferred, then you must also complete an Affidavit of Heirship and the Affidavit of Service. If these additional forms are required, then you must present copies of them to the decedent’s heirs at least 30 days before filing the forms. Lastly, you must get the forms notarized and filed with the court. The property can then be claimed within 30 days of presenting the notarized affidavit.

Contact us today for a consultation at 262-725-0175 or our website’s contact page. Wynn at Law, LLC is based in Southern Wisconsin and has three office locations: Lake Geneva, Delavan, and Salem.

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