Terms Used In Wisconsin Statutes 854.14

  • assets: (1) The property comprising the estate of a deceased person, or (2) the property in a trust account.
  • contract: A legal written agreement that becomes binding when signed.
  • decedent: A deceased person.
  • evidence: Information presented in testimony or in documents that is used to persuade the fact finder (judge or jury) to decide the case for one side or the other.
  • fiduciary: A trustee, executor, or administrator.
  • Following: when used by way of reference to any statute section, means the section next following that in which the reference is made. See Wisconsin Statutes 990.01
  • intestate: Dying without leaving a will.
  • Person: includes all partnerships, associations and bodies politic or corporate. See Wisconsin Statutes 990.01
  • Personal representative: means a person, however denominated, who is authorized to administer a decedent's estate. See Wisconsin Statutes 990.01
  • Property: includes real and personal property. See Wisconsin Statutes 990.01
  • right of survivorship: The ownership rights that result in the acquisition of title to property by reason of having survived other co-owners.
  • trustee: A person or institution holding and administering property in trust.
   (2)    Revocation of benefits. Except as provided in sub. (6), the unlawful and intentional killing of the decedent does all of the following:
      (a)    Revokes a provision in a governing instrument that, by reason of the decedent’s death, does any of the following:
         1.    Transfers or appoints property to the killer.
         2.    Confers a power of appointment on the killer.
         3.    Nominates or appoints the killer to serve in any fiduciary or representative capacity, including personal representative, trustee, or agent.
      (b)    Severs the interests of the decedent and killer in property held by them as joint tenants with the right of survivorship or as survivorship marital property and transforms the interests of the decedent and the killer into tenancies in common or marital property, whichever is appropriate.
      (c)    Revokes every statutory right or benefit to which the killer may have been entitled by reason of the decedent’s death.
   (3)   Effect of revocation. Except as provided in sub. (6), provisions of a governing instrument that are revoked by this section are given effect as if the killer disclaimed all revoked provisions or, in the case of a revoked nomination in a fiduciary or representative capacity, as if the killer predeceased the decedent. Except as provided in sub. (6), the killer’s share of the decedent’s intestate estate, if any, passes as if the killer had disclaimed his or her intestate share under s. 854.13.
   (3m)   Additional effects if death caused by spouse.
      (a)    Definitions. In this subsection:
         1.    “Owner” means a person appearing on the records of the policy issuer as the person having the ownership interest, or means the insured if no person other than the insured appears on those records as a person having that interest. In the case of group insurance, the “owner” means the holder of each individual certificate of coverage under the group plan and does not include the person who contracted with the policy issuer on behalf of the group, regardless of whether that person is listed as the owner on the contract.
         2.    “Ownership interest” means the rights of an owner under a policy.
         3.    “Policy” means an insurance policy insuring the life of a spouse and providing for payment of death benefits at the spouse’s death.
         4.    “Proceeds” means the death benefit from a policy and all other economic benefits from it, whether they accrue or become payable as a result of the death of an insured person or upon the occurrence or nonoccurrence of another event.
      (b)    Life insurance.
         1.    Except as provided in sub. (6), if a noninsured spouse unlawfully and intentionally kills an insured spouse, the surviving spouse’s ownership interest in a policy that designates the decedent spouse as the owner and insured, or in the proceeds of such a policy, is limited to a dollar amount equal to one-half of the marital property interest in the interpolated terminal reserve and in the unused portion of the term premium of the policy on the date of death of the decedent spouse. All other rights of the surviving spouse in the ownership interest or proceeds of the policy, other than the marital property interest described in this subsection, terminate at the decedent spouse’s death.
         2.    Notwithstanding s. 766.61 (7) and except as provided in sub. (6), if an insured spouse unlawfully and intentionally kills a noninsured spouse, the ownership interest at death of the decedent spouse in any policy with a marital property component that designates the surviving spouse as the owner and insured is a fractional interest equal to one-half of the portion of the policy that was marital property immediately before the death of the decedent spouse.
      (c)    Deferred employment benefits. Notwithstanding s. 766.62 (5) and except as provided in sub. (6), if the employee spouse unlawfully and intentionally kills the nonemployee spouse, the ownership interest at death of the decedent spouse in any deferred employment benefit, or in assets in an individual retirement account that are traceable to the rollover of a deferred employment benefit plan, that has a marital property component and that is attributable to the employment of the surviving spouse is equal to one-half of the portion of the benefit or assets that was marital property immediately before the death of the decedent spouse.
      (d)    Deferred marital property. Except as provided in sub. (6), if the surviving spouse unlawfully and intentionally kills the decedent spouse, the estate of the decedent shall have the right to elect no more than 50 percent of the augmented deferred marital property estate, as determined under s. 861.02 (2), as though the decedent spouse were the survivor and the surviving spouse were the decedent. The court shall construe the provisions of ss. 861.03 to 861.11 as necessary to achieve the intent of this paragraph.
   (4)   Wrongful acquisition of property. Except as provided in sub. (6), a wrongful acquisition of property by a killer not covered by this section shall be treated in accordance with the principle that a killer cannot profit from his or her wrongdoing.
   (5)   Unlawful and intentional killing; how determined.
      (a)    A final judgment establishing criminal accountability for the unlawful and intentional killing of the decedent conclusively establishes the convicted individual as the decedent’s killer for purposes of this section.
      (b)    A final adjudication of delinquency on the basis of an unlawful and intentional killing of the decedent conclusively establishes the adjudicated individual as the decedent’s killer for purposes of this section.
      (c)    In the absence of a judgment establishing criminal accountability under par. (a) or an adjudication of delinquency under par. (b), the court, upon the petition of an interested person, shall determine whether, based on the preponderance of the evidence, the killing of the decedent was unlawful and intentional for purposes of this section.
   (6)   Exceptions. This section does not apply if any of the following applies:
      (a)    The court finds that, under the factual situation created by the killing, the decedent’s wishes would best be carried out by means of another disposition of the property.
      (b)    The decedent provided in his or her will, by specific reference to this section, that this section does not apply.