TN 11 (01-14)

GN 02315.089 Wisconsin Small Estates

A. Policy for Wisconsin small estate affidavit

1. Basic statute

Under Wisconsin Statutes — Section 867.03, a person indebted to or having custody of the decedent’s property must pay the indebtedness or deliver the property to an heir or guardian of the decedent or trustee of a revocable trust created by the decedent under the following conditions:

  1. The value of the decedent’s estate does not exceed $50,000;

  2. The heir, guardian, or trustee presents a proper affidavit in duplicate; and

  3. If applicable, the heir, guardian, or trustee provides proof of prior mailed notice to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Under Wisconsin law, the term “heir” includes the decedent’s spouse or domestic partner, issue (i.e., lineal descendants), parents, siblings and the issue of any deceased siblings, and grandparents and their issue.

2. Contents of affidavit

The affidavit must state the following:

  1. A description of and the value of the property to be transferred;

  2. The total value of the decedent’s property subject to administration in Wisconsin at the date of the decedent’s death; and

  3. Whether the decedent or the decedent’s spouse ever received benefits under a long-term care program, as defined in Wis. Stat. Section 49.496(1)(bk), medical assistance under Wis. Stat. Ch. 49, subch. IV, long-term community support services funded under Wis. Stat. Section 46.27(7) or aid under Wis. Stat. Section 49.68 (kidney disease), Section 49.683 (cystic fibrosis), or Section 49.685 (hemophilia).

If the decedent or the decedent’s spouse received such assistance, the person filing the affidavit must attach to the affidavit proof of mail delivery of notice to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services of his or her intent to transfer the decedent’s property by affidavit, with a delivery date of at least 10 days before the date on which the person files the affidavit.

3. Good acquittance

Payment of an underpayment pursuant to an affidavit releases us to the same extent as if we made payment to the decedent’s personal representative. For release of liability of transferor, see Wis. Stat. Section 867.03(2).

B. Policy for Wisconsin summary procedures

Wisconsin Statutes — Section 867.01 provides for summary settlement of small estates without the appointment of a personal representative. In addition, Wis. Stat. section 867.02 provides for summary assignment of small estates subject to claims of creditors without the appointment of a personal representative. Under both procedures, if the court is satisfied that the estate may be settled under the applicable procedures, it will order any person indebted to or holding property of the decedent to pay the indebtedness or deliver the property to the persons found to be entitled to receive it. Payment of funds in accordance with the court order releases us to the same extent as if we made payment to the decedent’s personal representative. For summary settlement of small estates, see Wis. Stat. Sections 867.01(4), and 867.02(3). If a person seeking legal representative status presents a court order pursuant to Wis. Stat. Section 867.01 or Section 867.02, see GN 02301.035C.1.c.


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