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Q&A Series: Do I have to wait 30 days to transfer assets in an estate under $50,000?

Attorney Thomas B. Burton Answers question regarding Transfer by Affidavit in Wisconsin

Consumer Question:

Do I have to wait 30 days to transfer assets in an estate under $50,000?

My mother appointed me as her Personal Representative in her will, and her estate is under $50, 000. In her will, she left all of her household goods to my sister and her two automobiles to my brother. My sister is the legal owner of a house where my mother last lives, and my sister resides there with my brother. The household goods and the automobiles are also kept at this property since this is where my mother last resided. I read that as my mother's personal representative in her will and as an heir in my own right, I do not have to wait 30 days to use an Affidavit of Transfer to transfer the household goods to my sister, or the automobile title to my brother legally. And technically the property and automobiles are already in the possession of my brother and sister at the time of death. So, how does this work? Can I fill out an affidavit of transfer to my brother and sister right away? Can my brother transfer the titles of the automobiles to his name before 30 days? I am a little confused as to how this works. Thank you.

Attorney Thomas B. Burton Response:

If you are named as the Personal Representative in the Will you can begin completing the Transfer by Affidavit form now, however the person holding the property is required to wait 30 days from the date of receipt of the Affidavit, to transfer the property to the person presenting the Affidavit. If the person or entity holding the property was for example a Bank, they are required to wait 30 days until they would transfer the Bank Account under the Affidavit. Similarly, the Department of Motor Vehicles should wait 30 days after receiving the Affidavit to transfer title to your brother. If you need assistance with completing the Transfer by Affidavit I recommend you retain the services of a qualified probate lawyer in your area. Best of luck to you!

This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. You should seek a consultation with a licensed attorney in your area if you seek a complete review and discussion of your situation.

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