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Based on the WI State Statutes below

867.046 (2) "Summary confirmation of interest in property",

and

867.046 (6) "Purchasers from petitioners protected",

and

705.15 (8) "Nonprobate transfer of farming implements at death"

and the facts for this case:

  • There are 3 grandchildren.
  • 1 of them is listed as the property TOD beneficiary.
  • The same 1 is also named in the will as inheriting all other possessions (nothing of value - donated already).
  • The other 2 are purposefully left out of both the will and TOD.
  • To clarify, the will does not list the TOD property but is noted as further evidence of her purposeful intent to leave the 2 nothing.

If the TOD beneficiary completed the requirements listed in 867.046 (2) and filed a transfer return,

  1. Would a buyer and their financier be protected from legal action against the estate if the home was bought before 120 days after decedents death?
  2. Is there any Wisconsin state statute or legal precedence that compels a title insurance company to require blood relatives that would have had a claim via intestacy IF NOT for a TOD and will?
  3. Does the fact that the grandchildren were adopted by a completely different family at a young age matter?
  4. Would the fact that the grandchildren's parents (both mom and dad) died before adoption matter?

1 Answer 1

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Would a buyer and their financier be protected from legal action against the estate if the home was bought before 120 days after decedents death?

Only if the buyer and the financier were "bona fide purchasers for value without notice" (Per § 867.046(6)). In other words, if they are third-party buyers paying an arm's length price, who didn't know that there was a potentially disputable TOD transfer. Since the TOD transfer and date of death would normally be set forth in the real property records, this would rarely be the case.

Is there any sort of stipulation, statue, or legal precedence that requires a title insurance company to require blood relatives that may have had a claim IF NOT for both a TOD and will? (in this case, there are 3 grandchildren, 1 of them is listed as the TOD beneficiary and sole inheritor in the Will, the other 2 are left out)

A title insurance company is allowed to set any standards it deems appropriate to insure that the buyer's title which is being guaranteed is unimpaired. During the 120 day period after the date of death it is possible to contest the TOD. Until it is formally admitted to probate, the will may be contested. The fact that both a TOD and a will both make provision for the same property, is itself suspect since if there is a TOD it shouldn't be subject to the will. If the will and TOD are invalid, the heirs at law (i.e. the people who would inherit if there was no will or TOD under the intestacy laws) take. So, requiring a sign off from the heirs at law, in addition to the beneficiary named in the TOD and the will, is a sensible thing for a title insurance company to require.

Does the fact that the grandchildren were adopted by a completely different family at a young age matter?

If the grandchildren are still heirs at law of the grandparent under WI law, then it doesn't matter. I'm not familiar with that little corner of WI law, so I don't know under what circumstances adopted children are heirs at law of the biological grandparents.

Would the fact that the grandchildren's parents (both mom and dad) died before adoption matter?

Sometimes this is a matter that is pertinent to the question of whether the grandchildren are still heirs at law under state law. I don't know if this is the case in WI, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was.

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  • Thanks for the answers. To clarify the will doesn't list the property, but is evidence of her intent to leave them nothing. The two haven't talked or seen her in years, last contact they took advantage to steal her money and meds. I'm the other grandchild and have been her closest relative for 17 years, talk and visit weekly, and gave her care at the end. The TOD and will were made by an attorney without my knowledge or influence. The two want to challenge the TOD. I see no merit to a legal claim to the property, is there? Would a judge see through this? Is a summary judgment likely?
    – BoldAsLove
    Commented May 18, 2023 at 4:05
  • 3
    @BoldAsLove ask your lawyer, not us.
    – Dale M
    Commented May 18, 2023 at 5:03
  • 1
    @BoldAsLove This is a site where general questions are approach (sometimes we stretch slightly) but not case specific advice. The client for estate planning documents is the decedent and there is no obligation to inform anyone else. A title insurance company is right to be wary about any form of inherited title if the prospect of a contest has been mentioned. Estate planning document contests can almost never be resolved on summary judgment.
    – ohwilleke
    Commented May 18, 2023 at 14:52
  • @DaleM lemme get this straight - you waste time with a no point comment like 'ask your lawyer' on a website dedicated to law, and worse when you do answer questions they are open ended ones where most don't include the basic facts needed to make a sound statement.
    – BoldAsLove
    Commented Jul 5, 2023 at 21:25
  • 1
    @ohwilleke thanks for the tip on how to better ask questions on this site and for the advice regarding my questions.
    – BoldAsLove
    Commented Jul 5, 2023 at 21:30

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