FAQs: What Is A Transfer On Death Instrument?

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TODI: Real Estate Transfer On Death

You’ve worked hard to accumulate a home, savings and other assets. Many people want to leave their home to a family or loved one after their death. For homeowners, a Transfer on Death Instrument (TODI) is a way to transfer residential real estate to your beneficiaries without having to go through probate. The Illinois Residential Real Property Transfer on Death Instrument Act was created on August 25, 2011, and is an alternative to a living trust. TOD (Transfer on Death) designations are commonly used for other assets such as financial accounts, retirement funds, and securities; a TODI makes this option available for real estate too.

5 Facts About TODIs

1. Avoid Probate
A Transfer on Death Instrument allows a property owner to bequeath personal real estate to a person or a legal entity and avoid the cost, time and stress of that asset going through the probate courts. Through the TODI, the property is immediately available to the beneficiary after the grantor’s death.

2. They Are Revocable

A TODI is revocable before the owner’s death. The revocation must be recorded, and cannot be revoked through a power of attorney. A Transfer on Death Instrument can also be revoked via a 2nd TODI that specifically revokes the 1st TODI.

3. Inexpensive
A TODI is relatively uncomplicated and inexpensive to put in place.

4. Joint Owners Can Execute 
If you are the legal joint owner of residential property, you can designate your ownership share to your beneficiary through a TODI.

5. Multiple Beneficiaries
Your property can be left to multiple beneficiaries in a TODI, or to a legal entity such as a trust.

An experienced Illinois estate planning attorney can review your situation, and advise you whether a TODI or living trust is a better option for you to bequeath real estate and how to protect the future of your loved ones.

DuPage County Estate Planning Attorney

If you want to protect your loved ones after you are gone, an experienced estate planning lawyer can advise you on the best options for your situation. To talk to a qualified attorney in Chicago or Lombard, contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-864-5835

We serve Cook, Dupage, Kane, Lake, and Will counties.