705.06(1)(d) (d) Any sums in a marital account may be paid, on request, to either party without regard to whether the other party is under legal disability or is deceased, unless the financial institution receives actual notice that the other party is deceased. After receipt of actual notice of the death of one party to a marital account, the financial institution may pay on request not more than 50 percent of the sums on deposit to the surviving party, and 50 percent of that amount to the personal representative of the deceased party or if applicable to any P.O.D. beneficiary of the deceased party's interest, unless before payment is made the financial institution receives a verified statement under s. 865.201 or a certified copy of a certificate or recorded application concerning survivorship rights under s. 867.046, in which case the financial institution shall make payment as provided in that document.
705.06(2) (2) Payment made under this subchapter discharges the financial institution from all claims for amounts so withdrawn. If the institution has reason to believe that a dispute exists as to the rights of the parties to an account or their successors it may, but shall not be required to, refuse to pay funds in the account to any persons pending instructions from a court, or it may pay the proceeds to a court. An institution may but need not recognize the authority of an agent, other than one with continuing authority under s. 705.05 (3), until it knows of the fact of death or adjudication of incompetence of all parties appointing such agent and has reasonable opportunity to act.
705.06(3) (3) The protection provided by this section shall have no bearing on the rights of parties or their successors in disputes concerning the beneficial ownership of funds in or withdrawn from an account.
705.06 Annotation A personal representative is not a “party" to an account held as a “joint account" by the decedent and another who survives; a bank who disburses the funds of the joint account to the personal representative is not entitled to immunity under this section. In Matter of Estate of Martz, 171 Wis. 2d 89, 491 N.W.2d 772 (Ct. App. 1992).
705.06 Annotation Joint bank accounts in Wisconsin. O'Flaherty, 53 MLR 118 (1970).
705.07 705.07 Rights of creditors.
705.07(1) (1) Only the creditors of any living party to an account may subject the entire sums on deposit to their claims, as if such sums resulted solely from contributions made by the debtor party. If a joint or P.O.D. account requires the signatures of all of the parties for purposes of withdrawal, such account shall not be subject to the claims of creditors of a debtor party to the extent of the net contributions of the other parties to the account. Such other parties shall have the burden of proving their net contributions by clear and convincing evidence.
705.07(2) (2) For purposes of ch. 242, a debtor party shall be deemed to have made a transfer only at the time some other party withdraws all or part of the sums on deposit, or at the time of the debtor party's death as to sums not previously withdrawn. In the case of a withdrawal while the debtor party is living, the sole grounds for determining any such transfer to be fraudulent shall be whether the debtor party is or will be thereby rendered insolvent under s. 242.05 (1) or whether the debtor party is engaged or is about to engage in a business or transaction for which the assets remaining in the debtor party's hands after the transfer are unreasonably small under s. 242.04 (1) (b) 1. In the case of a transfer by reason of the death of the debtor party, the sole ground for determining any such transfer to be fraudulent shall be whether the debtor party's estate subject to administration is insolvent under s. 242.02. For purposes of this subsection, the amount transferred shall be deemed to consist of those assets which the creditors of the debtor party could have made subject to their claims immediately prior to the transfer, less any sums which such creditors could have made so subject to their claims immediately after the transfer.
705.07 History History: 1973 c. 291; 1987 a. 192.
705.08 705.08 Construction. This subchapter shall be construed in such a manner as to ensure reasonable certainty of legal result for those who establish a multiple-party or agency account.
705.08 History History: 1973 c. 291; 1989 a. 331.
705.09 705.09 Applicability of general transfers at death provisions. Chapter 854 applies to transfers at death under this subchapter.
705.09 History History: 1997 a. 188.
705.09 Annotation Wisconsin's New Probate Code. Erlanger. Wis. Law. Oct. 1998.
subch. II of ch. 705 SUBCHAPTER II
NONPROBATE TRANSFERS AT DEATH;
NONPROBATE TRANSFER OF REAL PROPERTY
705.10 705.10 Nonprobate transfers on death.
705.10(1) (1) A provision for a nonprobate transfer on death in an insurance policy, contract of employment, bond, mortgage, promissory note, certificated or uncertificated security, account agreement, custodial agreement, deposit agreement, compensation plan, pension plan, individual retirement plan, employee benefit plan, trust, conveyance, online tool, as defined in s. 711.03 (18), deed of gift, marital property agreement, or other written instrument of a similar nature is nontestamentary. This subsection governs a written provision that:
705.10(1)(a) (a) Money or other benefits due, controlled by or owned by a decedent before death must be paid after the decedent's death to a person whom the decedent designates either in the instrument or in a separate writing, including a will executed either before or at the same time as the instrument, or later;
705.10(1)(b) (b) Money due or to become due under the instrument ceases to be payable in the event of death of the promisee or the promisor before payment or demand; or
705.10(1)(c) (c) Any property controlled by or owned by the decedent before death which is the subject of the instrument passes to a person whom the decedent designates either in the instrument or in a separate writing, including a will executed either before or at the same time as the instrument, or later.
705.10(2) (2) This section does not limit rights of creditors under other laws of this state.
705.10(3) (3)Chapter 854 applies to transfers at death under this section.
705.10(4) (4) A transfer under this section does not require confirmation in any procedure under s. 867.01, 867.02, or 867.03 or ch. 856 or 865. A transfer under this section may be confirmed under s. 867.046 (1m) or (2).
705.10 History History: 1989 a. 331; 1997 a. 188; 2005 a. 206 s. 5; 2005 a. 216 s. 35; Stats. 2005 s. 705.10; 2007 a. 97 s. 198; 2015 a. 300.
705.10 Annotation An annuity is an “other written instrument" under sub. (1). A contractual arrangement that creates a nonprobate transfer of property subject to this section will defeat a marital agreement that does not make the transfer. Reichel v. Jung, 2000 WI App 151, 237 Wis. 2d 853, 616 N.W.2d 118, 99-1211.
705.10 Annotation No provision of s. 766.58 (3) or this section permits parties to ignore ch. 854, or to agree to prohibit court involvement in implementing a marital property agreement. That “Washington Will" provisions permit transfer of property without probate does not mean the legislature allowed parties to agree to no court involvement in implementing transfer of ownership and creating a reliable and public record of transfer. Maciolek v. City of Milwaukee Employees' Retirement System Annuity and Pension Board, 2006 WI 10, 288 Wis. 2d 62, 709 N.W.2d 360, 04-1254.
705.10 Annotation Wisconsin's New Probate Code. Erlanger. Wis. Law. Oct. 1998.
705.15 705.15 Nonprobate transfer of real property on death.
705.15(1)(1) An interest in real property that is solely owned, owned by spouses as survivorship marital property, or owned by 2 or more persons as joint tenants may be transferred without probate to a designated TOD beneficiary as provided in this section on the death of the sole owner or the last to die of the multiple owners.
705.15(2) (2) A TOD beneficiary may be designated on a deed that evidences ownership of the property interest in the owner or owners by including the words “transfer on death" or “pay on death," or the abbreviation “TOD" or “POD," after the name of the owner or owners of the property and before the name of the beneficiary or beneficiaries. The designation may be included on the original deed that passes the property interest to the owner or owners or may be made at a later time by the sole owner or all then surviving owners by executing and recording another deed that designates a TOD beneficiary. A TOD beneficiary designation is not effective unless the deed on which the designation is made is recorded.
705.15(3) (3) The designation of a TOD beneficiary on a deed does not affect ownership of the property until the owner's death. The designation may be canceled or changed at any time by the sole owner or all then surviving owners, without the consent of the beneficiary, by executing and recording another deed that designates a different beneficiary or no beneficiary. The recording of a deed that designates a TOD beneficiary or no beneficiary revokes any designation made in a previously recorded deed relating to the same property interest.
705.15(4) (4) On the death of the sole owner or the last to die of multiple owners, ownership of the interest in the real property passes, subject to any lien or other encumbrance, to the designated TOD beneficiary or beneficiaries who survive all owners and to any predeceased beneficiary's issue who would take under s. 854.06 (3). If no beneficiary or predeceased beneficiary's issue who would take under s. 854.06 (3) survives the death of all owners, the interest in the real property passes to the estate of the deceased sole owner or the estate of the last to die of the multiple owners.
705.15(5) (5) A TOD beneficiary's interest in the property on the death of the sole owner or the last to die of multiple owners may be confirmed as provided in s. 863.27, 865.201, or 867.046.
705.15(6) (6)Chapter 854 applies to transfers on death under this section.
705.15 History History: 2005 a. 206.
subch. III of ch. 705 SUBCHAPTER III
TRANSFER ON DEATH SECURITY REGISTRATION
705.21 705.21 Definitions; transfer on death security registration. In ss. 705.21 to 705.30:
705.21(2) (2) “Beneficiary form" means a registration of a security which indicates the present owner of the security and the intention of the owner regarding the person who will become the owner of the security upon the death of the owner.
705.21(5) (5) “Devisee" means any person designated in a will to receive a disposition of real or personal property.
705.21(6) (6) “Heir" has the meaning given in s. 851.09.
705.21(7) (7) “Personal representative" has the meaning given in s. 851.23.
705.21(8) (8) “Property" has the meaning given in s. 851.27.
705.21(9) (9) “Register", including its derivatives, means to issue a certificate showing the ownership of a certificated security or, in the case of an uncertificated security, to initiate or transfer an account showing ownership of securities.
705.21(10) (10) “Registering entity" means a person who originates or transfers a security title by registration, and includes a broker maintaining security accounts for customers and a transfer agent or other person acting for or as an issuer of securities.
705.21(11) (11) “Security" means a share, participation or other interest in property, in a business or in an obligation of an enterprise or other issuer, and includes a certificated security, an uncertificated security and a security account.
705.21(12) (12) “Security account" means any of the following:
705.21(12)(a) (a) A reinvestment account associated with a security, a securities account with a broker, a cash balance in a brokerage account, cash, cash equivalents, interest, earnings or dividends earned or declared on a security in an account, a reinvestment account or a brokerage account, whether or not credited to the account before the owner's death.
705.21(12)(am) (am) An investment management or custody account with a trust company or a trust division of a bank with trust powers, including the securities in the account, a cash balance in the account, and cash, cash equivalents, interest, earnings, or dividends earned or declared on a security in the account, whether or not credited to the account before the owner's death.
705.21(12)(b) (b) A cash balance or other property held for or due to the owner of a security as a replacement for or product of an account security, whether or not credited to the account before the owner's death.
705.21(13) (13) “State" includes any state of the United States, the District of Columbia, the commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and any territory or possession subject to the legislative authority of the United States.
705.21 History History: 1989 a. 331; 2005 a. 10.
705.22 705.22 Registration in beneficiary form; sole or joint tenancy ownership. Only individuals whose registration of a security shows sole ownership by one individual or multiple ownership by 2 or more with right of survivorship, rather than as tenants in common, may obtain registration in beneficiary form. Multiple owners of a security registered in beneficiary form hold as joint tenants with right of survivorship, as tenants by the entireties, or as owners of community property held in survivorship form, and not as tenants in common.
705.22 History History: 1989 a. 331.
705.23 705.23 Registration in beneficiary form; applicable law. A security may be registered in beneficiary form if the form is authorized by ss. 705.21 to 705.30 or a similar statute of the state of organization of the issuer or registering entity, the location of the registering entity's principal office, the office of its transfer agent or its office making the registration, or by ss. 705.21 to 705.30 or a similar statute of the law of the state listed as the owner's address at the time of registration. A registration governed by the law of a jurisdiction in which ss. 705.21 to 705.30 or similar legislation is not in force or was not in force when a registration in beneficiary form was made is nevertheless presumed to be valid and authorized as a matter of contract law.
705.23 History History: 1989 a. 331.
705.24 705.24 Origination of registration in beneficiary form. A security, whether evidenced by certificate or account, is registered in beneficiary form if the registration includes a designation of a beneficiary to take the ownership at the death of the owner or the deaths of all multiple owners.
705.24 History History: 1989 a. 331.
705.25 705.25 Form of registration in beneficiary form. Registration in beneficiary form may be shown by the words “transfer on death" or the abbreviation “TOD" or by the words “pay on death" or the abbreviation “POD", after the name of the registered owner and before the name of a beneficiary.
705.25 History History: 1989 a. 331.
705.26 705.26 Effect of registration in beneficiary form. The designation of a TOD beneficiary on a registration in beneficiary form does not affect ownership until the owner's death. A registration of a security in beneficiary form may be canceled or changed at any time by the sole owner or all then surviving owners, without the consent of the beneficiary.
705.26 History History: 1989 a. 331.
705.27 705.27 Ownership on death of owner. Subject to the rights of the registering entity under s. 705.28 (2m), on the death of a sole owner or the last to die of multiple owners, ownership of securities registered in beneficiary form passes to the beneficiary or beneficiaries who survive all owners and to any predeceased beneficiary's issue who would take under s. 854.06 (3). On proof of death of all owners and compliance with any applicable requirements of the registering entity, a security registered in beneficiary form may be reregistered in the name of the successors to the ownership interest. Until division of the security after the death of all owners, multiple successors to the ownership interest hold their interests as tenants in common. If no beneficiary or predeceased beneficiary's issue who would take under s. 854.06 (3) survives the death of all owners, the security belongs to the estate of the deceased sole owner or the estate of the last to die of multiple owners.
705.27 History History: 1989 a. 331; 2005 a. 216.
705.28 705.28 Protection of registering entity.
705.28(1) (1) A registering entity is not required to offer or to accept a request for security registration in beneficiary form. If a registration in beneficiary form is offered by a registering entity, the owner requesting registration in beneficiary form assents to the protections given to the registering entity by ss. 705.21 to 705.30.
705.28(2) (2) By accepting a request for registration of a security in beneficiary form, the registering entity agrees that the registration will be implemented upon death of the deceased owner as provided in ss. 705.21 to 705.30.
705.28(2m) (2m) If more than one beneficiary is named and at least one beneficiary is predeceased, a security registered in beneficiary form may be reregistered in the name of the surviving beneficiary with a proof of death of the other beneficiary, without regard to claims by the issue of a predeceased beneficiary under s. 705.27 unless the registering entity receives written notice of a claim under sub. (3) (b). If none of the beneficiaries survive, a security registered in beneficiary form may be reregistered in the name of the estate of the deceased sole owner or the estate of the owner who was last to die of multiple owners, without regard to claims by the issue of a predeceased beneficiary under s. 705.27 unless the registering entity receives written notice of a claim under sub. (3) (b).
705.28(3) (3)
705.28(3)(a)(a) Subject to par. (b), a registering entity is discharged from all claims to a security by the estate, creditors, heirs or devisees of the deceased owner if it registers a transfer of a security in accordance with s. 705.27 and does so in good faith reliance on the registration, on ss. 705.21 to 705.30, and on information provided to it by affidavit of the personal representative of the deceased owner, or by the surviving beneficiary or by the surviving beneficiary's representatives, or other information available to the registering entity.
705.28(3)(b) (b) The protections provided in this subchapter do not extend to a reregistration or payment made after a registering entity has received written notice from a claimant to an interest in the security objecting to implementation of a registration in beneficiary form. No other notice or other information available to the registering entity affects its right to protection under this subchapter. If the registering entity has reason to believe that a dispute exists as to the rights of the parties to a security registered in beneficiary form or their successors, the registering entity may refuse to reregister the security pending instructions from a court.
705.28(4) (4) The protection provided by ss. 705.21 to 705.30 to the registering entity of a security does not affect the rights of beneficiaries in disputes between themselves and other claimants to ownership of the security transferred or its value or proceeds.
705.28 History History: 1989 a. 331; 2005 a. 216.
705.29 705.29 Nontestamentary transfer on death.
705.29(1) (1) A transfer on death resulting from a registration in beneficiary form is effective by reason of the contract regarding the registration between the owner and the registering entity and ss. 705.21 to 705.30 and is not testamentary.
705.29(2) (2)Sections 705.21 to 705.30 do not limit the rights of creditors of security owners against beneficiaries and other transferees under other laws of this state.
705.29 History History: 1989 a. 331.
705.30 705.30 Terms, conditions and forms for registration.
705.30(1)(1) A registering entity offering to accept registrations in beneficiary form may establish the terms and conditions under which it will receive requests for registration in beneficiary form and for implementation of registrations in beneficiary form, including requests for cancellation of previously registered TOD beneficiary designations and requests for reregistration to effect a change of beneficiary. The terms and conditions so established may provide for proving death, avoiding or resolving a problem concerning fractional shares, designating primary and contingent beneficiaries, and substituting a named beneficiary's descendants to take in the place of the named beneficiary in the event of the beneficiary's death. Substitution may be indicated by appending to the name of the primary beneficiary the letters “LDPS", standing for “lineal descendants per stirpes". This designation substitutes a deceased beneficiary's descendants who survive the owner for a beneficiary who fails to so survive, the descendants to be identified and to share in accordance with the law of the beneficiary's domicile at the owner's death governing inheritance by descendants of an intestate. Other forms of identifying beneficiaries who are to take on one or more contingencies, and rules for providing proofs and assurances needed to satisfy reasonable concerns by registering entities regarding conditions and identities relevant to accurate implementation of registrations in beneficiary form, may be contained in a registering entity's terms and conditions.
705.30(2) (2) The following are illustrations of registrations in beneficiary form which a registering entity may authorize:
705.30(2)(a) (a) Sole owner — sole beneficiary: John S Brown TOD (or POD) John S Brown Jr.
705.30(2)(b) (b) Multiple owners — sole beneficiary: John S Brown Mary B Brown JT TEN TOD John S Brown Jr.
705.30(2)(c) (c) Multiple owners — primary and secondary (substituted) beneficiaries: John S Brown Mary B Brown, JT TEN TOD John S Brown Jr SUB BENE Peter Q Brown or John S Brown Mary B Brown JT TEN TOD John S Brown Jr LDPS.
705.30 History History: 1989 a. 331.
705.31 705.31 Applicability of general transfers at death provisions. Chapter 854 applies to transfers at death under this subchapter.
705.31 History History: 1997 a. 188.
705.31 Annotation Wisconsin's New Probate Code. Erlanger. Wis. Law. Oct. 1998.
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2015-16 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2017 Wis. Act 135 and all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders effective on or before January 1, 2018. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after January 1, 2018 are designated by NOTES. (Published 1-1-18)