2010 Wisconsin Code
Chapter 853. Wills.
853.32 Effect of reference to another document.


853.32 Effect of reference to another document.


(1) Incorporation.


(am) A will may incorporate by reference another writing or document if all of the following apply:


1. The will, either expressly or as construed from extrinsic evidence, manifests an intent to incorporate the other writing or document.


2. The other writing or document was in existence when the will was executed.


3. The other writing or document is sufficiently described in the will to permit identification with reasonable certainty.


4. The will was executed in compliance with s. 853.03 or 853.05.


(bm) A writing or document is incorporated into a will under par. (am) even if the writing or document is not executed in compliance with s. 853.03 or 853.05.


(2) Disposition of tangible personal property.


(a) A reference in a will to another document that lists tangible personal property not otherwise specifically disposed of in the will disposes of that property if the other document describes the property and the distributees with reasonable certainty and is signed and dated by the decedent. The court may enforce a document that is not dated but that fulfills all of the other requirements under this paragraph.


(am) Another document under par. (a) is valid if it was signed in compliance with s. 853.03 (1) or with the law of the place where the document was signed, or where the testator resided, was domiciled, or was a national at the time the document was signed or at the time of death, even if it was not otherwise executed in compliance with s. 853.03 (2) or 853.05.


(b) Another document under par. (a) is valid even if any of the following applies:


1. The document does not exist when the will is executed.


2. The document is changed after the will is executed.


3. The document has no significance except for its effect on the disposition of property by the will.


(c) If the document described in par. (a) is not located by the personal representative, or delivered to the personal representative or circuit court with jurisdiction over the matter, within 30 days after the appointment of the personal representative, the personal representative may dispose of tangible personal property according to the provisions of the will as if no such document exists. If a valid document is located after some or all of the tangible personal property has been disposed of, the document controls the distribution of the property described in it, but the personal representative incurs no liability for the prior distribution or sale of the property, as long as the time specified in this paragraph has elapsed.


(d) The duties and liability of a person who has custody of a document described in par. (a), or information about such a document, are governed by s. 856.05.


(e) Beneficiaries under a document that is described in par. (a) are not interested parties for purposes of s. 879.03.


(3) Transfers to living trusts. The validity and implementation of a will provision that purports to transfer or appoint property to a living trust are governed by s. 701.08.

853.32 - ANNOT.

History: 1995 a. 234; 1997 a. 188 ss. 144, 145, 153; 2005 a. 216.

853.32 - ANNOT.

Wisconsin's New Personal Property Memorandum Law. Slate. Wis. Law. Oct. 1996.

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