What Is Real Estate With a Transfer On Death Instruction?

  • Probate
  • Wills
What Is Real Estate With a Transfer On Death Instruction? | Mario Godoy | Chicago Estate Planning Lawyer

If you own real estate, a transfer on death deed (TOD) is an easy way for you to pass your property, such as your home, to your beneficiaries when you die without going through probate. The beneficiary has no right to your property while you’re alive and, if you own real estate jointly, the transfer on death deed does not apply until all the owners have died. While the owner is alive, the owner retains the right to sell the real estate or make changes to the TOD.

Limitations to a Transfer on Death Deed

All states do not recognize a transfer on death deed, but it is legal in Illinois. Different states and counties have different rules, so your estate planning lawyer can assure you follow the instructions in your county.

There are some important features to a transfer on deed:

  • You can revoke a transfer on death deed:
    You can either go to your county recorder and request a revocation form or create a new transfer on death deed that replaces the original.
  • The transferred deed includes mortgages, liens, etc.:
    If you still owe money or your home or if a contractor has a lien on it, your beneficiary will inherit these responsibilities as well as your property. Because of this, you should review your mortgage note with your attorney to ensure that the transfer will not accelerate the mortgage due before executing the transfer on deed document.

The Illinois Residential Real Property Transfer on Death Instrument Act requires the document to be signed like a will by 2 witnesses, notarized and state that the property will be transferred on the owner’s death. 

Estate planning is preparing for the future. Contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group in Lombard Illinois today at 1-630-800-0112.