2017 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
Chapter 54. Guardianships and conservatorships.
(1) Annual accounts. Except as provided in sub. (3) or unless waived by a court, every guardian, including a corporate guardian, shall, prior to April 15 of each year, file an account under oath that specifies the amount of the ward's assets or income received and held or invested by the guardian, the nature and manner of the investment, and the guardian's receipts and expenditures during the preceding calendar year. The court may order the guardian to render and file, within 30 days, a like account for less than a year. In lieu of the filing of these accounts before April 15 of each year, the court may, by appropriate order upon motion of the guardian, direct the guardian of an estate to render and file the annual accountings within 60 days after the anniversary date of the guardian's qualification as guardian, with the accounting period from the anniversary date of qualification to the ensuing annual anniversary date. The guardian shall also report any change in the status of the surety upon the guardian's bond. If the court determines it to be in the ward's best interests, the court may specify the persons to whom the guardian shall distribute copies of the account.
(2) Display of assets. Upon rendering the account the guardian shall produce for examination by the court, or by a person satisfactory to the court, evidence of all of the ward's securities, depository accounts, and other investments, which shall be described in the account in sufficient detail so that they may be readily identified. The court or person satisfactory to the court shall ascertain whether the evidence of securities, depository accounts, and other investments correspond with the account.
(3) Small estates.
(a) If a ward's income and assets do not exceed the amount specified in s. 867.03 (1g) (intro.), the guardian need not file an account under sub. (1) unless otherwise ordered to do so by the court. For the purposes of this paragraph, the value of the ward's income and assets does not include the ward's income, any burial trust possessed by the ward, or any term or other life insurance policy that is irrevocably assigned to pay for the disposition of the ward's remains at death.
(b) If the ward's income and assets, as calculated under par. (a), increase above the amount specified in s. 867.03 (1g) (intro.), the guardian shall so notify the court, which shall determine if an annual account under sub. (1) or a final account under s. 54.66 is required.
(4) Annual accounts of married wards.
(a) For a married ward, the court may waive filing of an annual account under sub. (1) or permit the filing of a modified annual account, which shall be signed by the ward's guardian and spouse and shall consist of all of the following:
1. Total assets of the ward, as determined under ch. 766, on January 1 of the year in question.
2. Income in the name of the ward, without regard to ch. 766, and the ward's joint income.
3. Expenses incurred on behalf of the ward, including the ward's proportionate share of household expenses if the ward and the ward's spouse reside in the same household, without regard to ch. 766.
4. Total marital property of the ward, as determined under ch. 766, on December 31 of the year in question.
(b) The court shall provide notice of the waiver under par. (a) to any adult child of the ward.
(5) Examination of accounts. The account shall be examined as the court directs. If the account is not satisfactory, the court shall order action as justice requires and shall direct that notice be provided to the guardian personally or by certified mail. If notice is provided to the guardian under this subsection, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem for the ward.
(6) Accounting by 3rd parties to guardian. If a guardian appointed by a court so requests, the court may order any person entrusted by the guardian with part of the estate of a ward to appear before the court and to render a full account, on oath, of the income or assets and of his or her action regarding the income or assets. If the person refuses to appear and render an account, the court may proceed against him or her as for contempt.
(7) Notice of final action on an account. No action by the court on an account is final unless the guardian first provides notice to all of the following, as applicable:
(a) The ward.
(b) Any guardian ad litem appointed by the court.
(c) Any personal representative or special administrator appointed by the court.
(8) Accounts; failure of a guardian to file. If a guardian fails to file the guardian's account as required by law or ordered by the court, the court may, upon its own motion or upon the petition of any interested party, order the guardian to show cause why the guardian should not immediately make and file the guardian's reports or accounts. The court shall direct that a copy of the order be served on the guardian at least 20 days before the date that the court has ordered the guardian to appear in court. If a guardian fails, neglects or refuses to make and file any report or account after having been cited by the court to do so, or if the guardian fails to appear in court as directed by a citation issued by the court, the court may, on its own motion or on the petition of any interested party, issue a warrant directed to the sheriff ordering that the guardian be brought before the court to show cause why the guardian should not be punished for contempt. If the court finds that the failure, refusal, or neglect is willful or inexcusable, the guardian may be fined not to exceed $250 or imprisoned not to exceed 10 days or both.
(9) Accounting by guardians at any time. The court may at any time require an accounting by any guardian at a hearing, after providing notice to all interested persons, including sureties on the bond of a guardian.