853.32(1)(am)3. 3. The other writing or document is sufficiently described in the will to permit identification with reasonable certainty.
853.32(1)(am)4. 4. The will was executed in compliance with s. 853.03 or 853.05.
853.32(1)(bm) (bm) A writing or document is incorporated into a will under par. (am) even if the writing or document is not executed in compliance with s. 853.03 or 853.05.
853.32(2) (2)Disposition of tangible personal property and digital property.
853.32(2)(a)1.1. A reference in a will to another document that lists tangible personal property not otherwise specifically disposed of in the will disposes of that property if the other document describes the property and the distributees with reasonable certainty and is signed and dated by the decedent. The court may enforce a document that is not dated but that fulfills all of the other requirements under this paragraph.
853.32(2)(a)2. 2. A reference in a will to another document that lists digital property, as defined in s. 711.03 (10), not otherwise specifically disposed of in the will disposes of that digital property if the other document describes the digital property and the distributees with reasonable certainty and is signed and dated by the decedent. The court may enforce a document that is not dated but that fulfills all of the other requirements under this paragraph.
853.32(2)(am) (am) Another document under par. (a) is valid if it was signed in compliance with s. 853.03 (1) or with the law of the place where the document was signed, or where the testator resided, was domiciled, or was a national at the time the document was signed or at the time of death, even if it was not otherwise executed in compliance with s. 853.03 (2) or 853.05.
853.32(2)(b) (b) Another document under par. (a) is valid even if any of the following applies:
853.32(2)(b)1. 1. The document does not exist when the will is executed.
853.32(2)(b)2. 2. The document is changed after the will is executed.
853.32(2)(b)3. 3. The document has no significance except for its effect on the disposition of property by the will.
853.32(2)(c) (c) If the document described in par. (a) is not located by the personal representative, or delivered to the personal representative or circuit court with jurisdiction over the matter, within 30 days after the appointment of the personal representative, the personal representative may dispose of tangible personal property according to the provisions of the will as if no such document exists. If a valid document is located after some or all of the tangible personal property has been disposed of, the document controls the distribution of the property described in it, but the personal representative incurs no liability for the prior distribution or sale of the property, as long as the time specified in this paragraph has elapsed.
853.32(2)(d) (d) The duties and liability of a person who has custody of a document described in par. (a), or information about such a document, are governed by s. 856.05.
853.32(2)(e) (e) Beneficiaries under a document that is described in par. (a) are not interested parties for purposes of s. 879.03.
853.32(3) (3)Transfers to trusts. The validity and implementation of a will provision that purports to transfer or appoint property to a trust are governed by s. 701.0419.
853.32 History History: 1995 a. 234; 1997 a. 188 ss. 144, 145, 153; 2005 a. 216; 2013 a. 92; 2015 a. 300.
853.32 Annotation Wisconsin's New Personal Property Memorandum Law. Slate. Wis. Law. Oct. 1996.
853.325 853.325 Effect of reference to acts or events. A will may dispose of property by reference to acts or events that have significance apart from their effect on the disposition of property under the will and that do not occur solely for the purpose of determining the disposition of property under the will. Reference to the execution or revocation of another individual's will fulfills the requirements under this section. This section applies whether the acts or events occur before or after execution of the will or before or after the testator's death.
853.325 History History: 1997 a. 188.
853.33 853.33 Gift of securities. Section 854.11 governs gifts of securities under a will.
853.33 History History: 1997 a. 188.
853.34 853.34 Transfers to testamentary trusts.
853.34(1)(1)Testamentary transfer to trust of another. A transfer or appointment by will shall not be held invalid because it is made to a trust created, or to be created, under the will of another person if the will of such other person was executed, or was last modified with respect to the terms of such trust, prior to the death of the person making the transfer or appointment and such other person's will is admitted to probate prior to, or within 2 years after, the death of the person making the transfer or appointment. Property included in such a transfer or appointment shall not be considered property subject to administration as part of the other person's estate but shall pass directly to that other person's testamentary trustee, be added to the designated trust and administered as a part thereof.
853.34(2) (2)Invalid testamentary transfer. If such a transfer or appointment by will is not accepted by the testamentary trustee of such other person or if no will of such other person which meets the conditions specified in sub. (1) is admitted to probate within the period therein limited, and if the will containing such transfer or appointment by will makes no alternative disposition of the assets, the will shall be construed as creating a trust upon the terms contained in the documents constituting the will of such other person as of the date of death of the person making the transfer or appointment by will.
853.34(3) (3)Assets transferred to trusts created by will. If a trustee of a trust created by a testator's will is designated as the beneficiary of a transfer under another governing instrument, as defined in s. 854.01 (2), at the death of the testator or at the death of a 3rd party, the transfer of any assets under that other governing instrument to the trustee does not cause the transferred assets to be included in the property administered as part of the testator's estate. The transferred assets are not subject to taxes, debts, or charges enforceable against the testator's estate to any greater extent than if the proceeds were payable to a beneficiary other than the testator's estate.
853.34 History History: 1971 c. 66; Sup. Ct. Order, 67 Wis. 2d 585, 777 (1975); 1975 c. 218; 1987 a. 27; 1989 a. 278; 1991 a. 316; 2013 a. 92 ss. 153, 154, 331; Stats. 2013 s. 853.34.
853.35 853.35 Nonademption of specific gifts in certain instances. The rights of a beneficiary with respect to a specific gift that is destroyed, damaged, sold or condemned before the testator's death are governed by s. 854.08.
853.35 History History: 1993 a. 486; 1997 a. 188.
853.40 853.40 Disclaimer. A person to whom property would otherwise pass under a will may disclaim all or part of the property as provided in s. 854.13.
853.40 Annotation Unless barred by statute, a debtor can disclaim a bequest, thus defeating a creditor's action under s. 813.026. Estate of Goldhammer v. Goldhammer, 138 Wis. 2d 77, 405 N.W.2d 693 (Ct. App. 1987).
853.40 Annotation Except for a tax-related “qualified disclaimer," the 9-month time limit for disclaimer of a future interest commences on the death of the life tenant. Estate of Balson, 183 Wis. 2d 31, 515 N.W.2d 474 (Ct. App. 1994).
853.40 Note NOTE: The preceding cases were decided prior to the adoption of 1997 Wis. Act 188, which made extensive revisions to s. 853.27 and created s. 854.06.
853.41 853.41 Applicability of general transfers at death provisions. Chapter 854 applies to transfers under wills, including transfers under a Wisconsin basic will or basic will with trust.
853.41 History History: 1997 a. 188.
subch. II of ch. 853 SUBCHAPTER II
WISCONSIN BASIC WILLS
853.50 853.50 Definitions. In ss. 853.50 to 853.62:
853.50(1) (1)“By right of representation" means according to the method specified in s. 854.04 (1).
853.50(2) (2)“Children" includes all children whether born or adopted before or after a Wisconsin basic will or basic will with trust is executed.
853.50(3) (3)“Issue" means children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and lineal descendants of more remote degrees, including those who occupy that relation by reason of adoption under s. 854.20 and nonmarital children and their lineal descendants to the extent provided by s. 852.05.
853.50(4) (4)“Testator" means any person choosing to make a Wisconsin basic will or basic will with trust.
853.50(5) (5)“Trustee" means a person so designated in a Wisconsin basic will with trust and any other person acting at any time as the trustee under a Wisconsin basic will with trust.
853.50(6) (6)“Wisconsin basic will" means a Wisconsin basic will executed in accordance with ss. 853.50 to 853.62.
853.50(7) (7)“Wisconsin basic will with trust" means a Wisconsin basic will with trust executed in accordance with ss. 853.50 to 853.62.
853.50 History History: 1983 a. 376; 1997 a. 188.
853.51 853.51 Execution of will.
853.51(1)(1)The only method of executing a Wisconsin basic will or basic will with trust is for all of the following to occur:
853.51(1)(a) (a) The testator shall do all of the following:
853.51(1)(a)1. 1. Complete the blanks, boxes and lines substantially in accordance with the instructions.
853.51(1)(a)2. 2. Sign the will.
853.51(1)(bc) (bc) The witnesses shall comply with s. 853.03 (2).
853.51(2m) (2m)Any failure to comply with the instructions in a Wisconsin basic will or basic will with trust, other than the requirements for the testator's and witnesses' signatures, does not affect the validity of the will.
853.51 History History: 1983 a. 376; 1997 a. 188.
853.52 853.52 Contents of wills.
853.52(1)(1)There are 2 Wisconsin basic wills: the Wisconsin basic will and the Wisconsin basic will with trust.
853.52(2) (2)The Wisconsin basic will includes all of the following:
853.52(2)(a) (a) The contents of the form for the Wisconsin basic will under s. 853.55.
853.52(2)(b) (b) The full texts of each of the following:
853.52(2)(b)1. 1. The definitions under s. 853.50.
853.52(2)(b)2. 2. The clause under s. 853.57.
853.52(2)(b)3. 3. The property disposition clause under s. 853.58 adopted by the testator.
853.52(2)(b)4. 4. The mandatory clauses under s. 853.60.
853.52(3) (3)The Wisconsin basic will with trust includes all of the following:
853.52(3)(a) (a) The contents of the form for the Wisconsin basic will with trust under s. 853.56.
853.52(3)(b) (b) The full texts of each of the following:
853.52(3)(b)1. 1. The definitions under s. 853.50.
853.52(3)(b)2. 2. The clause under s. 853.57.
853.52(3)(b)3. 3. The property disposition clause under s. 853.59.
853.52(3)(b)4. 4. The mandatory clauses under ss. 853.60 and 853.61.
853.52(4) (4)Any person who prints forms for the Wisconsin basic will or basic will with trust shall place a signature line on each page of the printed document. A testator shall sign on each such line. Failure to comply with this subsection does not affect the validity of the will.
853.52 History History: 1983 a. 376; 1993 a. 304.
853.53 853.53 Selection of property disposition clause. If more than one property disposition clause is selected or if none is selected, the residuary property of a testator who signs a Wisconsin basic will or basic will with trust shall be distributed to the testator's heirs as if the testator did not make a will.
853.53 History History: 1983 a. 376.
853.54 853.54 Revocation or revision.
853.54(1)(1)A Wisconsin basic will or a basic will with trust may be revoked and may be amended in the same manner as other wills.
853.54(2) (2)Any additions to or deletions from the face of the form of the Wisconsin basic will or basic will with trust, other than in accordance with the instructions, shall be ineffective and shall be disregarded.
853.54(3) (3)Notwithstanding sub. (2), any failure to print in the proper places, provide the full name of a person or charity to receive a gift, include residences or use the phrase “not used" where applicable does not affect the validity of a Wisconsin basic will or basic will with trust.
853.54 History History: 1983 a. 376.
853.55 853.55 Wisconsin basic will. The following is the form for the Wisconsin basic will:
NOTICE TO THE PERSON WHO SIGNS THIS WILL:
1. THIS WILL DOES NOT DISPOSE OF PROPERTY WHICH PASSES ON YOUR DEATH TO ANY PERSON BY OPERATION OF LAW OR BY ANY CONTRACT. FOR EXAMPLE, THE WILL DOES NOT DISPOSE OF JOINT TENANCY ASSETS, AND IT DOES NOT NORMALLY APPLY TO PROCEEDS OF LIFE INSURANCE ON YOUR LIFE OR YOUR RETIREMENT PLAN BENEFITS.
2. THIS WILL IS NOT DESIGNED TO REDUCE TAXES. YOU SHOULD DISCUSS THE TAX RESULTS OF YOUR DECISIONS WITH A COMPETENT TAX ADVISER.
3. THIS WILL MAY NOT WORK WELL IF YOU HAVE CHILDREN BY A PREVIOUS MARRIAGE OR IF YOU HAVE BUSINESS PROPERTY, PARTICULARLY IF THE BUSINESS IS UNINCORPORATED.
4. YOU CANNOT CHANGE, DELETE OR ADD WORDS TO THE FACE OF THIS WISCONSIN BASIC WILL. YOU MAY REVOKE THIS WISCONSIN BASIC WILL, AND YOU MAY CHANGE IT BY SIGNING A NEW WILL.
5. THE FULL TEXT OF THIS WISCONSIN BASIC WILL, THE DEFINITIONS, THE PROPERTY DISPOSITION CLAUSES AND THE MANDATORY CLAUSES FOLLOW THE END OF THIS WILL AND ARE CONTAINED IN THE PROBATE CODE OF WISCONSIN (CHAPTERS 851 TO 882 OF THE WISCONSIN STATUTES).
6. THE WITNESSES TO THIS WILL SHOULD NOT BE PEOPLE WHO MAY RECEIVE PROPERTY UNDER THIS WILL. YOU SHOULD READ AND CAREFULLY FOLLOW THE WITNESSING PROCEDURE DESCRIBED AT THE END OF THIS WILL.
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2017-18 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2019 Wis. Act 18 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on October 1, 2019. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after October 1, 2019, are designated by NOTES. (Published 10-1-19)