When is a claim filed as an heir?
You file a claim as an heir when you are entitled through a legal determination to receive property of a deceased person.
How do I file an heirship claim?
Heirship claims must be filed on our website. Select the properties owned by the decedent, click on "Claim These Properties," and follow the instructions provided. You are the claimant, so be sure to include your own name, address and other information as appropriate.
Is special documentation required?
Yes, special documentation is required as follows:
If the estate is still open, we pay the estate directly.
A Transfer by Affidavit Form may be required if the value of the property being claimed is up to $50,000 and claimant wants to utilize the transfer by affidavit method. The form can be downloaded from the Wisconsin Court System website. The form MUST be notarized, only original forms will be accepted (Do NOT submit photocopies).
A court order is required if the value of the property being claimed is greater than $50,000. The court order should be from the county where the decedent passed away. Funds will be paid as the court order dictates.
What happens after I complete the Transfer by Affidavit form?
As the person completing the form, you are accepting full responsibility for the decedent's property. You are also responsible for distributing the claim proceeds to the rightful heirs.
You are also responsible for any tax liability that may be incurred. For example, if there are stocks or mutual funds being sold that were titled to the decedent, you may receive a 1099-B or 1099-DIV as the claimant who received the funds.
Do I have to submit the Transfer by Affidavit and take full responsibility for the property?
No. You may obtain a court order from the appropriate court in the county the decedent passed away. Funds will be paid as the court order dictates.
For instructions and assistance regarding obtaining a court order visit the Wisconsin Court System website self-help page for Probate:
Why was my claim refund check less than I was expecting?
Wisconsin statutes authorizes the department to collect debt for Wisconsin state agencies, counties, and municipalities, the federal governments (including the IRS), other states and federally recognized tribes. Your Notice of Claim Refund will provide details about the debts owed to other government agencies. These offsets cannot be appealed to the department's Unclaimed Property Unit; however, you should contact the collecting agency regarding the offset if you have questions
What is an escheated estate? Why do you have it?
When someone dies without a will and known heirs, the property is turned over to the department. Heirs must get a court order from the probate court in the county that escheated the property to claim the funds. You have ten years to claim these funds.