Your house is worth thousands of dollars, so it is not an asset that you want to lose control of while you’re still alive. On the other hand, you don’t want your family members to experience a long-term legal limbo during which they cannot use the property. If your house must pass through probate court after you die, your family will have to wait months to assume ownership and pay thousands in costs.
Having a specific plan for the transfer of your real estate when you die is important. The right plan can speed up the transfer process and reduce what costs you incur. Is a deed to transfer ownership at the time of your death the best solution?
There are benefits and drawbacks to each approach
Using a transfer on death deed is a viable solution for some Illinois property owners. You can retain control over the property for the rest of your life and then have it transferred directly to your chosen beneficiary as soon as you die. They just take the deed and other necessary documents for recording.
However, there are a couple of concerns with a transfer on death deed. One is that people could lose the deed before your death, meaning that they won’t have the necessary documents to assume ownership of the property. The second concern is that a transfer using a deed could trigger significant taxes for the beneficiary.
There are other solutions that may work, including using a trust to hold the property or executing a deed to change how you hold title. Carefully addressing your most valuable assets in your estate plan will help preserve their value for future generations.