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Can I Keep a Home From Going Through Probate? 

 Posted on February 06, 2023 in Estate Planning

chicago estate planning lawyerAging parents often leave conversations about inheritance untouched. These conversations are difficult and can leave both parents and children feeling sad or confused. However, these conversations are also very important because they touch on serious topics that have the potential to significantly impact the lives of everyone involved. By avoiding conversations about estate planning and end-of-life wishes, parents may inadvertently set their children up for more pain and suffering in the future as they struggle to understand a parent’s wishes regarding their estate. 

For many, a parent’s home is the only inheritance that will be handed down upon the parent’s death. The lack of more complex or valuable property may lead some people to believe that creating an estate plan just for a home is not worth the time or effort it would take. But putting a home through the probate process can be very complex and can significantly diminish the overall value that inheritors stand to inherit from the home. If you are interested in helping your parents keep their home out of the probate process after they pass away, read on. 

Does Real Estate Have to Go Through Probate? 

With the appropriate legal instruments in place, your parent’s home does not have to go through the probate process. There are many advantages to avoiding probate, including: 

  • Saving time - The probate process often takes over a year to complete and can be very time-consuming for the executor of the estate  

  • Saving money - In addition to estate taxes and the legal costs of the probate process, the home may need to be appraised and sold if there are no other plans 

  • Saving stress - If there are multiple siblings who all have an interest in their parents’ home, negotiating what to do with a home after the parents’ death can be very stressful

How Can I Keep a House From Going Through Probate? 

There are a variety of options for keeping a home from going through probate, and the one your parents choose will depend on their circumstances, plans, and preferences. Some options include: 

  • Joint tenancy with right of survivorship - This allows property to be easily transferred to the other owner when one owner dies.

  • Quitclaim deed - This allows property to be transferred from one person to another without paying transfer taxes or giving a warranty on the property’s title and can be used while the original homeowner is still alive.

  • Transfer on death instrument - This allows a homeowner to give someone real estate immediately after their death. 

  • Land trust - This is a legal instrument that allows a trust to take over a piece of property, which then is held in the trust along with the trust’s instructions for how to handle the property.

Contact an Englewood, IL Estate Planning and Probate Attorney

At The Sherrod Law Firm, Ltd., our Stoney Island, IL estate planning and probate lawyer understands that having sensitive conversations about inheritance can be very difficult. We are here to offer you assistance, regardless of whether you are looking for ways to approach difficult conversations with elderly parents, in the process of being the executor for an estate, or already going through probate. Call our office today at 312-321-6910 for a free, confidential consultation.  




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