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Chicago Attorney for Transfer on Death Instruments

Evanston T.o.D. Lawyer

Attorney for Posthumous Real Estate Transfer Serving the Greater Chicago Area

Transfer on death instruments are an often undervalued and underutilized tool in estate planning. Unlike property transferred by a will, property with a T.o.D. note attached does not need to go through the probate process before the beneficiary can receive their gift. These valuable instruments allow a person to seamlessly transfer ownership of a residential real estate property to a party of their choosing when the original owner passes away. If you own real property, using a T.o.D. can allow your loved ones to bypass probate and begin enjoying the property immediately upon your death.

The Sherrod Law Firm, Ltd. can help you take advantage of this simple way to pass on real property. Our attorneys are well-versed in the laws surrounding transfer on death instruments so that we can create skillfully drafted, effective documents. As with wills, there are strict statutory requirements that must be met for T.o.D. instruments to be valid and enforceable. We meticulously ensure that each requirement is solidly met.

Transfer on Death Instruments Explained

Effective January 1, 2022, an amendment to the Act ("Amendment") provides that the TOD Instrument will no longer be limited to only residential real estate, but may be used for any real estate located in Illinois. The Act has been renamed the "Real property Transfer on Death Instrument Act". This allows an owner of a commercial building to use a TOD Instrument to avoid probate at death.

A transfer on death instrument names the person or people who the current owner of a property would like to take ownership after their death, and it must berecorded with the recorder of deeds during the grantor's lifetime. When a person who has executed a T.o.D. does pass away, the beneficiary can file a notice of death affidavit and acceptance. Once this notice has been filed, the beneficiary may proceed with transferring the real estate property into their name.

There is no probate court involvement in these types of transfers. The beneficiary need not wait on a court to hold a hearing to approve the transfer. This is a much simpler and cost-effective process than is normally required during estate administration.

Illinois Legal Formalities for Creating a Transfer on Death

While T.o.D.s appear relatively straightforward, there are complexities in their creation. The process of executing a T.o.D. should be handled by a qualified attorney. The documents must meet many of the requirements of a will. Essential language would include things like a description of the property and words of conveyance, like one would find in normal real estate transactions.

As real estate and estate planning attorneys, we are skilled in drafting effective legal documents to transfer real estate property, including during the grantor's life or posthumously. We are meticulous in creating these documents, so you can feel confident in the efficacy of your T.o.D.

Flexible and Revocable Documents

Transfer on death instruments convey no interests or rights until after you have passed away, allowing you to retain complete control over your property during your lifetime. You are also free to revoke or amend a T.o.D. at any point in your life, so long as you have the capacity to do so. There is little risk in creating one.

Transfer on Death Instruments and Joint Tenancy

Many people, particularly spouses, tend to own property in both of their names together. Spouses or other joint owners of real property can also take advantage of T.o.D.s without affecting the rights of either. After the first joint owner passes away, the property will still automatically become the sole property of the other. The T.o.D. does not take effect until both co-owners are gone, so there is little risk in using one.

Contact a Chicago Transfer on Death Instrument Lawyer

The Sherrod Law Firm, Ltd. is skilled at creating effective transfer on death instruments. Our experienced Cook County lawyers can help you take advantage of this simple and powerful estate planning tool. Contact us at 312-321-6910 for a complimentary consultation. We offer flat-fee pricing so you will never be surprised by an expense.

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