854.13(5)(d) (d) Failure to deliver or file. Failure to deliver a copy of the instrument of disclaimer to the trustee under par. (b) or to file a copy in the probate court under par. (c), within the time specified under sub. (4), does not affect the validity of any disclaimer.
854.13(5)(e) (e) Recording. If real property or an interest in real property is disclaimed, a copy of the instrument of disclaimer may be recorded in the office of the register of deeds of the county in which the real estate is situated.
854.13(6) (6)Property not vested. The property disclaimed under this section shall be considered not to have been vested in, created in or transferred to the disclaimant.
854.13(7) (7)Devolution.
854.13(7)(a) (a) In general. Subject to pars. (bm) and (c) and subs. (8), (9), and (10), unless the governing instrument provides otherwise, either expressly or as construed from extrinsic evidence, the disclaimed property devolves as if the disclaimant had died before the decedent. If the disclaimed interest is a remainder contingent on surviving to the time of distribution, the disclaimed interest passes as if the disclaimant had died immediately before the time for distribution. If the disclaimant is an appointee under a power of appointment exercised by a governing instrument, the disclaimed property devolves as if the disclaimant had died before the effective date of the exercise of the power of appointment. If the disclaimant is a taker in default under a power of appointment created by a governing instrument, the disclaimed property devolves as if the disclaimant had predeceased the donee of the power of appointment.
854.13(7)(bm) (bm) Devolution to issue of the disclaimants. Unless the governing instrument provides otherwise, either expressly or as construed from extrinsic evidence, if, by law or under the governing instrument, the issue of the disclaimant would share in the disclaimed interest by any method of representation had the disclaimant died before the time the disclaimed interest would have taken effect in possession or enjoyment, the disclaimed interest passes only to the issue of the disclaimant who survive when the disclaimed interest takes effect in possession or enjoyment.
854.13(7)(c) (c) Disclaimer of a devisable future interest.
854.13(7)(c)1.1. In this paragraph, “devisable future interest" is a future interest that can be passed under the will of the person who holds the future interest.
854.13(7)(c)2. 2. If the disclaimed interest is a devisable future interest under the law governing the transfer, then the disclaimed interest devolves as if it were a nondevisable future interest.
854.13(8) (8)Devolution of disclaimed interest in joint tenancy. Unless the decedent provided otherwise in a governing instrument, either expressly or as construed from extrinsic evidence, a disclaimed interest in a joint tenancy passes to the decedent's probate estate.
854.13(9) (9)Devolution of disclaimed interest in survivorship marital property. Unless the decedent provided otherwise in a governing instrument, either expressly or as construed from extrinsic evidence, a disclaimed interest in survivorship marital property passes to the decedent's probate estate.
854.13(10) (10)Acceleration of subsequent interests when preceding interest is disclaimed.
854.13(10)(a) (a) Subsequent interest not held by disclaimant. Unless the governing instrument provides otherwise, either expressly or as construed from extrinsic evidence, upon the disclaimer of a preceding interest, a subsequent interest not held by the disclaimant and limited to take effect in possession or enjoyment after the termination of the interest that is disclaimed accelerates to take effect as if the disclaimant had died immediately before the time when the disclaimed interest would have taken effect in possession or enjoyment or, if the disclaimant is an appointee under a power of appointment and that power of appointment has been exercised, as if the disclaimant had died before the effective date of the exercise of the power of appointment.
854.13(10)(b) (b) Subsequent interest held by the disclaimant. Unless the governing instrument provides otherwise, either expressly or as construed from extrinsic evidence, upon the disclaimer of a preceding interest, a subsequent interest held by the disclaimant does not accelerate.
854.13(11g) (11g)Bar. Bars to a person's right to disclaim property include, but are not limited to, any of the following:
854.13(11g)(a) (a) The person's assignment, conveyance, encumbrance, pledge, or transfer of the property or a contract for the assignment, conveyance, encumbrance, pledge, or transfer of the property.
854.13(11g)(b) (b) The person's written waiver of the right to disclaim.
854.13(11g)(c) (c) The person's acceptance of the property or benefit of the property.
854.13(11p) (11p)Effect of disclaimer or waiver. The disclaimer or the written waiver of the right to disclaim is binding upon the disclaimant or person waiving and all persons claiming through or under him or her.
854.13(12) (12)Nonexclusiveness of remedy.
854.13(12)(a) (a) This section does not affect the right of a person to waive, release, disclaim or renounce property under any other statute, the common law, or as provided in the creating instrument.
854.13(12)(b) (b) Any disclaimer that meets the requirements of section 2518 of the Internal Revenue Code, or the requirements of any other federal law relating to disclaimers, constitutes an effective disclaimer under this section or s. 700.27.
854.13(13) (13)Construction of effective date. In this section, the effective date of a transfer under a revocable governing instrument is the date on which the person with the power to revoke the transfer no longer has that power or the power to transfer the legal or equitable ownership of the property that is the subject of the transfer.
854.13 History History: 1977 c. 309; 1983 a. 189 s. 329 (26); 1991 a. 39, 301; 1995 a. 360; 1997 a. 188 ss. 22 to 59, 175; Stats. 1997 s. 854.13; 2005 a. 216, 387; 2013 a. 92.
854.13 Note NOTE: 1991 Wis. Act 301, which affected this section, contains extensive legislative council notes.
854.13 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).
854.13 Annotation Except for a tax-related “qualified disclaimer," the 9-month time limit for the 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).
854.13 Annotation A surviving spouse cannot disclaim a wrongful death claim under s. 854.13 so as to pass ownership of that claim to the deceased's lineal heirs. Bowen v. American Family Insurance Company, 2012 WI App 29, 340 Wis. 2d 232, 811 N.W.2d 887, 11-0185.
854.13 Note NOTE: The preceding cases were decided prior to the adoption of 1997 Wis. Act 188, which made extensive revisions to s. 853.40 and resulted in the creation of s. 854.06.
854.14 854.14 Beneficiary who kills decedent.
854.14(2)(2)Revocation of benefits. Except as provided in sub. (6), the unlawful and intentional killing of the decedent does all of the following:
854.14(2)(a) (a) Revokes a provision in a governing instrument that, by reason of the decedent's death, does any of the following:
854.14(2)(a)1. 1. Transfers or appoints property to the killer.
854.14(2)(a)2. 2. Confers a power of appointment on the killer.
854.14(2)(a)3. 3. Nominates or appoints the killer to serve in any fiduciary or representative capacity, including personal representative, trustee, or agent.
854.14(2)(b) (b) Severs the interests of the decedent and killer in property held by them as joint tenants with the right of survivorship or as survivorship marital property and transforms the interests of the decedent and the killer into tenancies in common or marital property, whichever is appropriate.
854.14(2)(c) (c) Revokes every statutory right or benefit to which the killer may have been entitled by reason of the decedent's death.
854.14(3) (3)Effect of revocation. Except as provided in sub. (6), provisions of a governing instrument that are revoked by this section are given effect as if the killer disclaimed all revoked provisions or, in the case of a revoked nomination in a fiduciary or representative capacity, as if the killer predeceased the decedent. Except as provided in sub. (6), the killer's share of the decedent's intestate estate, if any, passes as if the killer had disclaimed his or her intestate share under s. 854.13.
854.14(3m) (3m)Additional effects if death caused by spouse.
854.14(3m)(a)(a) Definitions. In this subsection:
854.14(3m)(a)1. 1. “Owner" means a person appearing on the records of the policy issuer as the person having the ownership interest, or means the insured if no person other than the insured appears on those records as a person having that interest. In the case of group insurance, the “owner" means the holder of each individual certificate of coverage under the group plan and does not include the person who contracted with the policy issuer on behalf of the group, regardless of whether that person is listed as the owner on the contract.
854.14(3m)(a)2. 2. “Ownership interest" means the rights of an owner under a policy.
854.14(3m)(a)3. 3. “Policy" means an insurance policy insuring the life of a spouse and providing for payment of death benefits at the spouse's death.
854.14(3m)(a)4. 4. “Proceeds" means the death benefit from a policy and all other economic benefits from it, whether they accrue or become payable as a result of the death of an insured person or upon the occurrence or nonoccurrence of another event.
854.14(3m)(b) (b) Life insurance.
854.14(3m)(b)1.1. Except as provided in sub. (6), if a noninsured spouse unlawfully and intentionally kills an insured spouse, the surviving spouse's ownership interest in a policy that designates the decedent spouse as the owner and insured, or in the proceeds of such a policy, is limited to a dollar amount equal to one-half of the marital property interest in the interpolated terminal reserve and in the unused portion of the term premium of the policy on the date of death of the decedent spouse. All other rights of the surviving spouse in the ownership interest or proceeds of the policy, other than the marital property interest described in this subsection, terminate at the decedent spouse's death.
854.14(3m)(b)2. 2. Notwithstanding s. 766.61 (7) and except as provided in sub. (6), if an insured spouse unlawfully and intentionally kills a noninsured spouse, the ownership interest at death of the decedent spouse in any policy with a marital property component that designates the surviving spouse as the owner and insured is a fractional interest equal to one-half of the portion of the policy that was marital property immediately before the death of the decedent spouse.
854.14(3m)(c) (c) Deferred employment benefits. Notwithstanding s. 766.62 (5) and except as provided in sub. (6), if the employee spouse unlawfully and intentionally kills the nonemployee spouse, the ownership interest at death of the decedent spouse in any deferred employment benefit, or in assets in an individual retirement account that are traceable to the rollover of a deferred employment benefit plan, that has a marital property component and that is attributable to the employment of the surviving spouse is equal to one-half of the portion of the benefit or assets that was marital property immediately before the death of the decedent spouse.
854.14(3m)(d) (d) Deferred marital property. Except as provided in sub. (6), if the surviving spouse unlawfully and intentionally kills the decedent spouse, the estate of the decedent shall have the right to elect no more than 50 percent of the augmented deferred marital property estate, as determined under s. 861.02 (2), as though the decedent spouse were the survivor and the surviving spouse were the decedent. The court shall construe the provisions of ss. 861.03 to 861.11 as necessary to achieve the intent of this paragraph.
854.14(4) (4)Wrongful acquisition of property. Except as provided in sub. (6), a wrongful acquisition of property by a killer not covered by this section shall be treated in accordance with the principle that a killer cannot profit from his or her wrongdoing.
854.14(5) (5)Unlawful and intentional killing; how determined.
854.14(5)(a)(a) A final judgment establishing criminal accountability for the unlawful and intentional killing of the decedent conclusively establishes the convicted individual as the decedent's killer for purposes of this section.
854.14(5)(b) (b) A final adjudication of delinquency on the basis of an unlawful and intentional killing of the decedent conclusively establishes the adjudicated individual as the decedent's killer for purposes of this section.
854.14(5)(c) (c) In the absence of a judgment establishing criminal accountability under par. (a) or an adjudication of delinquency under par. (b), the court, upon the petition of an interested person, shall determine whether, based on the preponderance of the evidence, the killing of the decedent was unlawful and intentional for purposes of this section.
854.14(6) (6)Exceptions. This section does not apply if any of the following applies:
854.14(6)(a) (a) The court finds that, under the factual situation created by the killing, the decedent's wishes would best be carried out by means of another disposition of the property.
854.14(6)(b) (b) The decedent provided in his or her will, by specific reference to this section, that this section does not apply.
854.14 History History: 1997 a. 188; 2001 a. 102; 2005 a. 216.
854.14 Annotation “Unlawful and intentional killing" in this section does not include assisting another to commit suicide. Lemmer v. Schunk, 2008 WI App 157, 314 Wis. 2d 483, 760 N.W.2d 446, 07-2680.
854.14 Annotation Statute in the Abyss: The Implications of Insanity on Wisconsin's Slayer Statute. Eisold. 91 MLR 875 (2008).
854.15 854.15 Revocation of provisions in favor of former spouse or former domestic partner.
854.15(1)(1)Definitions. In this section:
854.15(1)(a) (a) “Disposition of property" means a transfer, including by appointment, of property or any other benefit to a beneficiary designated in a governing instrument.
854.15(1)(b) (b) “Divorce, annulment or similar event" means any of the following:
854.15(1)(b)1. 1. A divorce, annulment, or other event or proceeding that would exclude a spouse as a surviving spouse under s. 851.30.
854.15(1)(b)2. 2. A termination of a domestic partnership or other event or proceeding that would exclude a person as a surviving domestic partner under s. 851.295.
854.15(1)(c) (c) “Former spouse" means a person whose marriage to the decedent or domestic partnership with the decedent has been the subject of a divorce, annulment or similar event.
854.15(1)(d) (d) “Relative of the former spouse" means an individual who is related to the former spouse by blood, adoption or marriage and who, after the divorce, annulment or similar event, is not related to the decedent by blood, adoption or marriage.
854.15(2) (2)Scope. This section applies only to governing instruments that were executed by the decedent before the occurrence of a divorce, annulment or similar event with respect to his or her marriage to the former spouse.
854.15(3) (3)Revocation upon divorce. Except as provided in subs. (5) and (6), a divorce, annulment or similar event does all of the following:
854.15(3)(a) (a) Revokes any revocable disposition of property made by the decedent to the former spouse or a relative of the former spouse in a governing instrument.
854.15(3)(b) (b) Revokes any disposition created by law to the former spouse or a relative of the former spouse.
854.15(3)(c) (c) Revokes any revocable provision made by the decedent in a governing instrument conferring a power of appointment on the former spouse or a relative of the former spouse.
854.15(3)(d) (d) Revokes the decedent's revocable nomination of the former spouse or a relative of the former spouse to serve in any fiduciary or representative capacity.
854.15(3)(e) (e) Severs the interests of the decedent and former spouse in property held by them as joint tenants with the right of survivorship or as survivorship marital property and transforms the interests of the decedent and former spouse into tenancies in common.
854.15(4) (4)Effect of revocation. Except as provided in subs. (5) and (6), provisions of a governing instrument that are revoked by this section are given effect as if the former spouse and relatives of the former spouse disclaimed the revoked provisions or, in the case of a revoked nomination in a fiduciary or representative capacity, as if the former spouse and relatives of the former spouse died immediately before the divorce, annulment or similar event.
854.15(5) (5)Exceptions.
854.15(5)(am) (am) This section does not apply if any of the following applies:
854.15(5)(am)1. 1. The express terms of a governing instrument provide otherwise.
854.15(5)(am)2. 2. The express terms of a court order provide otherwise.
854.15(5)(am)3. 3. The express terms of a contract relating to the division of the decedent's and former spouse's property made between the decedent and the former spouse before or after the marriage or the divorce, annulment or similar event provide otherwise.
854.15(5)(am)4. 4. The divorce, annulment or similar event is nullified.
854.15(5)(am)5. 5. The decedent and the former spouse have remarried or entered into a new domestic partnership before the death of the decedent.
854.15(5)(bm) (bm) If the transfer is made under a governing instrument and the person who executed the governing instrument had an intent contrary to any provision in this section, then that provision is inapplicable to the transfer. Extrinsic evidence may be used to construe the intent.
854.15(6) (6)Revocation of nontestamentary provision in marital property agreement. The effect of a judgment of annulment, divorce or legal separation on marital property agreements under s. 766.58 is governed by s. 767.375 (1).
854.15 History History: 1997 a. 188; 2005 a. 216; 2005 a. 443 s. 265; 2009 a. 28.
854.15 Annotation Retroactive application of sub. (3) (a) is constitutional. Allstate Life Insurance Co. v. Hanson, 200 F. Supp. 2d 1012 (2002).
854.15 Annotation New Probate Code Affects Estate Planning at Divorce. Hughes. Wis. Law. March 1999.
854.17 854.17 Marital property classification; ownership and division of marital property at death. Classification of the property of a decedent spouse and surviving spouse, and ownership and division of that property at the death of a spouse, are determined under ch. 766 and s. 861.01.
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2015-16 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2017 Wis. Act 367 and all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders effective on or before September 5, 2018. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after September 5, 2018 are designated by NOTES. (Published 9-5-18)