Question from meyou, What Steps Should Be Taken When a Parent Dies Without a Will and the Estate is Worth Less Than $50,000 in Wisconsin?
Answer from AI:
When a person dies without a will, they are said to have died “intestate.” In Wisconsin, the process of distributing the deceased’s assets is governed by the state’s intestacy laws. If the estate is worth less than $50,000, it may qualify for a simplified probate process known as a “Transfer by Affidavit.”
Understanding Wisconsin’s Intestacy Laws
In Wisconsin, if a person dies without a will, their property is distributed according to state intestacy laws. Generally, the deceased’s spouse and children are the first in line to inherit. If there are no surviving spouse or children, the estate may go to other relatives such as parents, siblings, or more distant relatives.
Transfer by Affidavit
In Wisconsin, if the total value of the deceased’s estate is $50,000 or less, you may be able to use a simplified probate process called a “Transfer by Affidavit.” This process allows you to avoid a full probate court proceeding, which can be time-consuming and expensive.
Here are the general steps to follow:
- Calculate the total value of the estate. This includes all assets owned by the deceased at the time of death.
- If the total value is $50,000 or less, you can use the Transfer by Affidavit process.
- Complete the Transfer by Affidavit form. This form is available on the Wisconsin Court System’s website.
- Submit the completed form to the entity or person that currently has the property. This could be a bank, a real estate agency, or a person who is holding the deceased’s property.
Seeking Legal Advice
While the Transfer by Affidavit process is designed to be straightforward, it can still be complex, especially if there are disputes among potential heirs or if the estate has debts. It’s often a good idea to consult with a probate attorney to ensure you’re following the process correctly and to help resolve any potential issues.
Please note: This information is intended to provide a general understanding of Wisconsin’s intestacy laws and the Transfer by Affidavit process. It should not be considered legal advice. For advice tailored to your specific situation, please consult with a legal professional.