Will or Deed: Which One Takes Priority?

  • Wills
Will or Deed: Which One Takes Priority? | Lombard Estate Planning Attorney Mario Godoy

Typically a home is your most valuable asset. It is important for homeowners to know how their homeowners’ deed impacts the title and ownership after their death. Joint Tenants with right of survivorship or Tenants in Common are two common titles that could appear on a deed in Illinois.

1. A Joint Tenancy 
Illinois’ Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship means that two people – typically a husband and wife – co-own the property in equal shares. When one person dies, the other co-owner automatically becomes the owner of the property, even if there is no will. This is called the right of survivorship.

2. Tenancy in Common
Tenancy in common means that two or more people co-own a property. Tenants in common do not have rights of survivorship, all of the deceased’s assets go to the estate. The co-owner will not inherit their share of the property unless it is left to them in a will.

Making sure your will and the deed to your home match is important. If your will and the deed do not match, the court will have to intervene and decide who gets ownership of your home after your death.

If you die without a will, Illinois intestate laws determine who gets your property. The Illinois probate court will review the deed to make sure it is valid and who is listed as the owners. to decide if anyone else is listed as the owner.

It is smart to consult an estate planning attorney to make sure your home and all your other assets go to whomever you want to inherit them. A will can continue to protect your loved ones after you are gone, and making sure your will and the deed to your home are in sync and complement each other is the best way to protect your loved ones and beneficiaries.

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Real Estate and Estate Planning

DuPage County Estate Planning Attorneys

The experienced will and estate planning attorneys at Estate and Probate Legal Group serve clients in Cook, Dupage, Kane, Lake, and Will counties in Illinois can advise you on the best options to protect your assets and loved ones. To talk to an estate planning attorney contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-687-9100.