Pros And Cons Of Transferring Assets During Your Lifetime

  • Estate Planning
pros and cons of transferring assets during your lifetime | estate and probate legal group

Preparing a will is a large portion of your estate plan. You may have accumulated a lot, or at least something, during your lifetime. A will allows you a say in what happens to your assets after you’re gone. But what if you don’t want to wait until you die to give away your belongings? Transferring assets while you are still alive is becoming more common. But as with anything, there are pros and cons of transferring assets during your lifetime.

Transferring Assets While You Are Alive

There is no hard-set rule that says you must keep everything you own to yourself until you die. Giving away some belongings before you pass is within your right.

Items such as a home, land, automobile or collectibles can be given to your planned beneficiaries now rather than later. But be careful; there are good and bad circumstances with transferring assets while you are still living:


  • You get to see your loved one enjoy your gift – especially if you are not using it right now
  • May minimize tax on the inheritance – estate taxes are a reality of inheritance.
  • Can avoid probate court – your estate may need to pass through probate court after you pass away to ensure all your assets are distributed according to your will.


  • You may need the money – whether living in your own home or moving to assisted living; you may need more money than you initially thought.
  • You have no control over your assets – your nephew may decide to sell the family home as soon as you gift it to him.
  • The extra money could hinder the receiver – if they receive government aid, such as financial aid, additional money may put them in a bracket to be unable to receive aid.

As with any decision regarding transferring your assets, there are pros and cons. But working with an experienced estate attorney can help you make a decision that is best for you and your situation.

Talk With An Estate Planning Attorney

When you work with an estate planning attorney, they can inform you of alternative options for transferring assets while you are still alive. One alternative is a Transfer on Death Deed. This allows you to keep your home but give it to your beneficiary without going through probate court.

Another option is to transfer your assets through a living trust. This leaves you in control of your assets but is owned by the trust company and doesn’t count against you if you are receiving government aid such as Medicaid or assisted living.

Oak Brook Estate Planning Attorney

Our estate planning lawyers can advise you on the best options to help you develop a plan to transfer assets to your loved ones. To talk to a qualified attorney in Chicago, contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-864-5835.

Areas We Serve: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and Will counties