Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Limitation of Transfer on Death Deed in Wisconsin

Recently a client inquired about the possibility of placing a Transfer on Death Deed on a property held by an LLC. My initial answer was no, but I stated I wanted to double check. My first impression was correct.

The function of a Transfer on Death Deed is to place a beneficiary on real property. This placement effectively converts real property from being a probate asset (meaning it will pass through probate upon the owner's death) to a non-probate asset, and transferring outside of probate. Non-probate transfers are generally faster, and avoid the 0.2 percent fee assessed by the court. However, examination of Wisconsin Statues confirmed that this option does not apply if the property is owned by an LLC.
Wis. Stat., Section, 705.15 "An interest in real property that is solely
owned, owned by spouses as survivorship marital property, or owned by 2 or more persons as joint tenants may be transferred without probate to a designated TOD beneficiary..."
Most likely the motivation behind excluding an LLC is that the transfer is triggered by the death or the party or parties. When an LLC owns the property, there would never be a death...LLCs don't die.

As always, reading a lawyer's blog does not constitute receiving legal advice. Please seek advice from legal counsel before taking an action.

1 comment:

Jim said...

We found that transfers within our family were hardest when we had little knowledge of the situation surrounding the property/land. Whilst the law is the last word, I think if you have an angle & and a fairly accurate idea of who will have what then conveyancing is made easier.