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.
7. YOU SHOULD KEEP THIS WILL IN YOUR SAFE-DEPOSIT BOX OR OTHER SAFE PLACE.
8. IF YOU MARRY OR DIVORCE AFTER YOU SIGN THIS WILL, YOU SHOULD MAKE AND SIGN A NEW WILL.
9. THIS WILL TREATS ADOPTED CHILDREN AS IF THEY ARE BIRTH CHILDREN.
10. IF YOU HAVE CHILDREN UNDER 21 YEARS OF AGE, YOU MAY WISH TO USE THE WISCONSIN BASIC WILL WITH TRUST OR ANOTHER TYPE OF WILL.
11. IF THIS WISCONSIN BASIC WILL DOES NOT FIT YOUR NEEDS, YOU MAY WANT TO CONSULT WITH A LAWYER.
[A printed form for a Wisconsin basic will shall set forth the
above notice in 10-point boldface type.]
WISCONSIN BASIC WILL OF
   
(Insert Your Name)
Article 1. Declaration
This is my will and I revoke any prior wills and codicils (additions to prior wills).
Article 2. Disposition of My Property
2.1. PERSONAL, RECREATIONAL AND HOUSEHOLD ITEMS. Except as provided in paragraph 2.2, I give all my furniture, furnishings, household items, recreational equipment, personal automobiles and personal effects to my spouse, if living; otherwise they shall be divided equally among my children who survive me.
2.2. GIFTS TO PERSONS OR CHARITIES. I make the following gifts to the persons or charities in the cash amount stated in words (.... Dollars) and figures ($....) or of the property described. I SIGN IN EACH BOX USED. I WRITE THE WORDS “NOT USED" IN THE REMAINING BOXES. If I fail to sign opposite any gift, then no gift is made. If the person mentioned does not survive me or if the charity does not accept the gift, then no gift is made. - See PDF for table PDF
2.3. ALL OTHER ASSETS (MY “RESIDUARY ESTATE"). I adopt only one Property Disposition Clause in this paragraph by writing my signature on the line next to the title of the Property Disposition Clause I wish to adopt. I SIGN ON ONLY ONE LINE. I WRITE THE WORDS “NOT USED" ON THE REMAINING LINE. If I sign on more than one line or if I fail to sign on any line, the property will go under Property Disposition Clause (b) and I realize that means the property will be distributed as if I did not make a will in accordance with Chapter 852 of the Wisconsin Statutes.
PROPERTY DISPOSITION CLAUSES (Select one.) - See PDF for table PDF
Article 3. Nominations of Personal Representative and Guardian
3.1. PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE. (Name at least one.)
I nominate the person or institution named in the first box of this paragraph to serve as my personal representative. If that person or institution does not serve, then I nominate the others to serve in the order I list them in the other boxes. I confer upon my personal representative the authority to do and perform any act which he or she determines is in the best interest of the estate, with no limitations. This provision shall be given the broadest possible construction. This authority includes, but is not limited to, the power to borrow money, pledge assets, vote stocks and participate in reorganizations, to sell or exchange real or personal property, and to invest funds and retain securities without any limitation by law for investments by fiduciaries.
FIRST PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE   - See PDF for diagram PDF
SECOND PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE   - See PDF for diagram PDF
THIRD PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE   - See PDF for diagram PDF
3.2. GUARDIAN. (If you have a child under 18 years of age, you should name at least one guardian of the child.)
If my spouse dies before I do or if for any other reason a guardian is needed for any child of mine, then I nominate the person named in the first box of this paragraph to serve as guardian of the person and estate of that child. If the person does not serve, then I nominate the person named in the second box of this paragraph to serve as guardian of that child.
FIRST GUARDIAN   - See PDF for diagram PDF
SECOND GUARDIAN   - See PDF for diagram PDF
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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)