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Wisconsin Transfer on Death Deed

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Wisconsin Transfer on Death Deed

Updated April 12, 2024

A Wisconsin transfer on death deed allows an owner of real property to designate one or more beneficiaries to receive their interest upon their death. Also known as “pay on death” (“POD”) or “TOD” for short, this document allows the transferor and beneficiary to skip the lengthy probate process. After the TOD is recorded, it can be revoked or overwritten by the transferor at any time before their death.

Table of Contents

Requirements

  • Notary: Recommended
  • Witnesses: Not required
  • Recording: Must be recorded before the death of the owner at the register of deeds office of the county in which the real property is located.[1]

Legal Description

A legal description of real property identifies its precise location using the Public Land Survey System (PLSS), which divides land into townships, ranges, and sections. It is required to include a legal description of the property in question on a transfer on death deed.

A legal description of real property can be found on the property deed or by contacting the register of deeds office in the county where the property deed was recorded.

Example

“The Southwest Quarter of the Northeast Quarter (SW 1/4 of NE 1/4) of Section 19 (19), Township Four (4) North, Range Three (3) West of the Third Principal Meridian, in County of Dane, State of Wisconsin.”

Revocation

After being recorded, a TOD may be revoked or changed at any time by the owner without the consent of the beneficiary. This can be done by executing and recording another TOD that designates a different beneficiary or no beneficiary.[2]

The new document revoking the previous TOD must be recorded prior to the owner’s death at the register of deeds office in the county where the property is located.

How to Record

In Wisconsin, a transfer on death deed must be submitted for recording to the local register of deeds office prior to the owner’s death. Take the completed form into the office and follow the instructions provided. Filing fees vary by county.

Sources

  1. § 705.15(2)(b)
  2. § 705.15(3)