Wisconsin's Requirements for a Will
Wisconsin's Requirements for a Will
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Wisconsin's Requirements for a Will

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Summary of Wisconsin's Will Requirements:

Minimum Age to Make a Will 18
Written Document Required Yes
Nuncupative Wills (Oral) No
Holographic Wills (Hand-Written, Unwitnessed) No
Number of Witnesses Required 2
Self-Proving Affidavit Allowed
Statutory Form for Self-Proving Affidavit Yes

 

 

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Statutes Governing Wisconsin's Will Requirements:

 

Capacity to make or revoke a will

Any person of sound mind 18 years of age or older may make and revoke a will.

Wisconsin Statutes, 853.01

 

Execution of wills

Every will in order to be validly executed must be in writing and executed with all of the following formalities:

(1) It must be signed by the testator, by the testator with the assistance of another person with the testator's consent or in the testator's name by another person at the testator's direction and in the testator's conscious presence.

(2) It must be signed by at least 2 witnesses who signed within a reasonable time after any of the following:

1. The signing of the will as provided under sub. (1), in the conscious presence of the witness.

2. The testator's implicit or explicit acknowledgement of the testator's signature on the will, in the conscious presence of the witness.

3.  The testator's implicit or explicit acknowledgement of the will, in the conscious presence of the witness.

The 2 witnesses required under par. (am) may observe the signing or acknowledgement under par. (am) 1. to 3. at different times.

Wisconsin Statutes, 853.03

 

Self-proved will

(1) One-step procedure.  A will may be simultaneously executed, attested and made self-proved by the affidavit of the testator and witnesses.  The affidavit must be made before an officer authorized to administer oaths under the laws of the state in which execution occurs and must be evidenced by the officer's certificate, under official seal, in substantially the following form:

 

State of ....................
County of ................


I, ..................., the testator, sign my name to this instrument this ......... day of .............., and being first duly sworn, declare to the undersigned authority all of the following:


1.  I execute this instrument as my will.
2.  I sign this will willingly, or willingly direct another to sign for me.
3.  I execute this will as my free and voluntary act for the purposes expressed therein.
4.  I am 18 years of age or older, of sound mind and under no constraint or undue influence.

Testator: .................................


We, ............, ................., the witnesses, being first duly sworn, sign our names to this instrument and declare to the undersigned authority all of the following:

 

1.  The testator executes this instrument as his or her will.

2.  The testator signs it willingly, or willingly directs another to sign for him or her.

3.  Each of us, in the conscious presence of the testator, signs this will as a witness.

4.  To the best of our knowledge, the testator is 18 years of age or older, of sound mind and under no constraint or undue influence.

Witness: .................................

Witness: .................................

 

Subscribed and sworn to before me by ...., the testator, and by ...., and ...., witnesses, this .... day of ...., .....

(Seal) ........................

(Signed): ..................
(Official capacity of officer): .......................

 

(2) Two-step procedure.  An attested will may be made self-proved at any time after its execution by the affidavit of the testator and witnesses.  The affidavit must be made before an officer authorized to administer oaths under the laws of the state in which the affidavit occurs and must be evidenced by the officer's certificate, under official seal, attached or annexed to the will in substantially the following form:


State of ....
County of ....

We, .................., ..................., and ..................., the testator and the witnesses whose names are signed to the foregoing instrument, being first duly sworn, do declare to the undersigned authority all of the following:

1.  The testator executed the instrument as his or her will.
2.  The testator signed willingly, or willingly directed another to sign for him or her.
3.  The testator executed the will as a free and voluntary act.
4.  Each of the witnesses, in the conscious presence of the testator, signed the will as witness.
5.  To the best of the knowledge of each witness, the testator was, at the time of execution, 18 years of age or older, of sound mind and under no constraint or undue influence.

 

Testator: ...............................

Witness: ...............................

Witness: ...............................

 

Subscribed and sworn to before me by ..................., the testator, and by ..................., and ..................., witnesses, this ......... day of ..................., ..........

(Seal) ........................

(Signed): ..................
(Official capacity of officer): ........................

 

(3) Effect of affidavit.  The effect of an affidavit in substantially the form under sub. (1) or (2) is as provided in s. 856.16.  

Wisconsin Statutes, 853.04

 

Execution of wills outside the state or by nonresidents within this state

(1) A will is validly executed if it is in writing and any of the following applies:

(a) The will is executed according to s. 853.03.

(b) The will is executed in accordance with the law, at the time of execution or at the time of death, of any of the following:

1. The place where the will was executed.

2. The place where the testator resided, was domiciled or was a national at the time of execution.

3. The place where the testator resided, was domiciled or was a national at the time of death.

(2) Any will under sub. (1) (b) has the same effect as if executed in this state in compliance with s. 853.03.

Wisconsin Statutes, 853.05

 

Witnesses

(1) Any person who, at the time of execution of the will, would be competent to testify as a witness in court to the facts relating to execution may act as a witness to the will.  Subsequent incompetency of a witness is not a ground for denial of probate if the execution of the will is otherwise satisfactorily proved.

(2)

(a)  Subject to pars. (b) and (c), a will is not invalidated because it is signed by an interested witness.
(b)  Except as provided in par. (c), any beneficial provisions of the will for a witness or the spouse of a witness are invalid to the extent that the aggregate value of those provisions exceeds what the witness or spouse would have received had the testator died intestate.  Valuation is to be made as of testator's death.

Wisconsin Statutes, 853.07.

 

[Reference:  Wisconsin Requirements for a Will]

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