Under Wisconsin Statutes 705.15, owners of real property in Wisconsin may designate one or more people to gain ownership of their property outside of the probate process. The transfer on death deed form contains the designation and must be recorded, DURING THE OWNER'S NATURAL LIFE, for validity.
By executing and recording a transfer on death beneficiary designation, the owner retains absolute control over the real estate, and may sell, mortgage, or use the property in any legal manner, and change or revoke the beneficiary designation without penalty or obligation to inform the beneficiary.
Because the transfer does not occur until after the owner's death, there is no transfer tax due when recording the deed under 77.21(1) and 77.25(10m). While the change in ownership happens as a function of law when the owner dies, when the beneficiary claims the land, he or she must record form TOD-110 to make the transfer official and enter the updated information into the public records.
Wisconsin's transfer on death deeds are useful estate planning tools. Even so, carefully consider the potential impact of a non-probate transfer of property on taxes, as well as eligibility for local, state, and federal benefits. Each case is unique, so contact an attorney with questions or for complex situations.
Deeds.com Wisconsin Transfer on Death Deed Forms Have Been Updated as Recently as Thursday February 22, 2018