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What is a Transfer on Death Instrument?

 Posted on December 15, 2023 in Estate Planning

IL estate lawyerA transfer on death instrument (TODI) is exactly what it sounds like. This type of legal document allows you to name a person who will have the right to take ownership of a piece of your property after you have passed away. By using a TODI, you can keep your real property out of reach of the probate court. Putting a house through probate can be difficult. The fees associated with probate are steep, and in some cases, the house needs to be sold to cover costs. Your designated beneficiary can simply transfer the deed into their name simply by presenting your death certificate to the Recorder of Deeds. This estate planning option is simple, fast, and costs little. You should consult a qualified Roseland, IL, estate planning and real estate attorney before executing this legal document. 

How do I Create a TODI?

If you own real estate in Illinois, you can use a TODI quite easily. Your attorney will write a document naming the person you want to take ownership of your home or other real property after you pass away. While TODIs are fairly straightforward, there are a few complex legal formalities that must be met, so it is important to work with a lawyer. This document must be filed with the Recorder of Deeds within your lifetime. You should retain a copy of this record and keep it with your other estate planning materials. 

How Does a TODI Work for My Beneficiary?

Using a TODI to take ownership of a recently deceased loved one’s property is an extremely simple process. Your loved one does not need to go to court. They do not need to wait for the probate process to finish or worry about someone contesting a will. All your beneficiary needs to do is go to the Recorder of Deeds with a certified copy of your death certificate. The Recorder of Deeds will then put the deed in your beneficiary’s name, and they officially own the property. 

Does a TODI Affect My Ownership Rights? 

No. You are free to change your mind and revoke the TODI at any point. You are also free to do whatever you please with the house during your lifetime, including selling it or using it to secure a loan. Your beneficiary has no rights over the property until you have passed away. 

Contact a Cook County, IL, Estate Planning Attorney

If you are interested in learning more about TODIs or creating one for yourself, The Sherrod Law Firm, Ltd. can help. Our experienced Roseland, IL, estate planning and real estate lawyers are highly knowledgeable in the use of TODIs. Contact us at 312-321-6910 for a complimentary consultation.

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