Execution of wills.
Execution of wills outside the state or by nonresidents within this state.
Deposit of will in circuit court during testator's lifetime.
Equitable election if will attempts to dispose of property belonging to beneficiary.
Effect of will provision changing beneficiary of life insurance or annuity.
Designation of beneficiary, payee or owner.
Unintentional failure to provide for issue of testator.
Presumption that will passes all of testator's interest in property.
Effect of reference to another document.
Effect of reference to acts or events.
Gift of securities.
Nonademption of specific gifts in certain instances.
Applicability of general transfers at death provisions.
WISCONSIN BASIC WILLS
Execution of will.
Contents of wills.
Selection of property disposition clause.
Revocation or revision.
Wisconsin basic will.
Wisconsin basic will with trust.
Personal, recreational and household items.
Residuary estate; basic will.
Residuary estate; basic will with trust.
Mandatory clauses; basic will with trust.
Date of execution of will.
Ch. 853 Cross-reference
See definitions in ch. 851
Capacity to make or revoke a will.
Any person of sound mind 18 years of age or older may make and revoke a will.
Where proponent, confidant of testatrix and sole beneficiary, actively participated in the procurement, drafting and execution of the will under highly suspicious circumstances, a presumption of undue influence was raised. In re Estate of Malnar, 73 W (2d) 192, 243 NW (2d) 435.
"Disposition to influence" element of 4-factor test of undue influence means willingness to do something wrong or unfair to obtain a share of estate. Mere fact that will benefits alleged influencer does not prove "coveted-result" element of test. Elements of testamentary capacity discussed. In Matter of Estate of Becker, 76 W (2d) 336, 251 NW (2d) 431.
Two methods of proving undue influence discussed. In re Estate of Kamesar, 81 W (2d) 151, 259 NW (2d) 733.
Undue influence discussed. In re Estate of Taylor, 81 W (2d) 687, 260 NW (2d) 803.
Insane delusion as ground for objection to probate of will discussed. In re Estate of Evans, 83 W (2d) 259, 265 NW (2d) 529 (1978).
Legal guardianship in and of itself does not prove lack of testamentary capacity. In Matter of Estate of Sorensen, 87 W (2d) 339, 274 NW (2d) 694 (1979).
Parent-child relationships as "confidential relationship" discussed. In Matter of Estate of Sensenbrenner, 89 W (2d) 677, 278 NW (2d) 887 (1979).
Wisconsin's New Probate Code. Erlanger. Wis. Law. Oct. 1998.
Execution of wills.
Every will in order to be validly executed must be in writing and executed with all of the following formalities:
It must be signed by the testator, by the testator with the assistance of another person with the testator's consent or in the testator's name by another person at the testator's direction and in the testator's conscious presence.
It must be signed by 2 or more witnesses, each of whom signed within a reasonable time after witnessing any of the following:
The testator's implicit or explicit acknowledgement of the testator's signature on the will, within the conscious presence of each of the witnesses.
The testator's implicit or explicit acknowledgement of the will, within the conscious presence of each of the witnesses.
History: 1993 a. 486
; 1997 a. 188
The alternate requisite in sub. (1) that if not signed by the testator it be signed by some person in his presence and by his express direction, is not met by simply taking the testator's hand as an inanimate object and making his mark or signature where the testator fails or is unable to in any manner expressly authorize another to sign for him. Estate of Komarr, 46 W (2d) 230, 175 NW (2d) 473.
The preceding case was decided prior to the adoption of 1997 Wis. Act 188
which made extensive revisons to this section.
Self-proved will. 853.04(1)(1)
A will may be simultaneously executed, attested and made self-proved by the affidavit of the testator and witnesses. The affidavit must be made before an officer authorized to administer oaths under the laws of the state in which execution occurs and must be evidenced by the officer's certificate, under official seal, in substantially the following form:
I, ...., the testator, sign my name to this instrument this .... day of ...., and being first duly sworn, declare to the undersigned authority all of the following:
1. I execute this instrument as my will.
2. I sign this will willingly, or willingly direct another to sign for me.
3. I execute this will as my free and voluntary act for the purposes expressed therein.
4. I am 18 years of age or older, of sound mind and under no constraint or undue influence.
We, ...., ...., the witnesses, being first duly sworn, sign our names to this instrument and declare to the undersigned authority all of the following:
1. The testator executes this instrument as his or her will.
2. The testator signs it willingly, or willingly directs another to sign for him or her.
3. Each of us, in the conscious presence of the testator, signs this will as a witness.
4. To the best of our knowledge, the testator is 18 years of age or older, of sound mind and under no constraint or undue influence.
State of ....
County of ....
Subscribed and sworn to before me by ...., the testator, and by ...., and ...., witnesses, this .... day of ...., .....
(Official capacity of officer): ....
(2) Two-step procedure.
An attested will may be made self-proved at any time after its execution by the affidavit of the testator and witnesses. The affidavit must be made before an officer authorized to administer oaths under the laws of the state in which the affidavit occurs and must be evidenced by the officer's certificate, under official seal, attached or annexed to the will in substantially the following form:
State of ....
County of ....
We, ...., ...., and ...., the testator and the witnesses whose names are signed to the foregoing instrument, being first duly sworn, do declare to the undersigned authority all of the following:
1. The testator executed the instrument as his or her will.
2. The testator signed willingly, or willingly directed another to sign for him or her.
3. The testator executed the will as a free and voluntary act.
4. Each of the witnesses, in the conscious presence of the testator, signed the will as witness.
5. To the best of the knowledge of each witness, the testator was, at the time of execution, 18 years of age or older, of sound mind and under no constraint or undue influence.