How to Avoid Probate for Illinois Real Estate Holdings

 Posted on November 15, 2023 in Estate Planning

DuPage County estate planning lawyerIf you own residential or commercial real estate in Illinois, ensuring your properties transfer smoothly to chosen beneficiaries without getting tied up in probate should be an estate planning priority. You should be aware of your options that can help you avoid the time-consuming and public probate process for your real estate holdings. An Illinois lawyer can help you figure out the best option for you.

Understand Probate's Drawbacks

In Illinois, probating a will can take six months to two years. During this period, your properties may sit idle while beneficiaries wait to take ownership. Probate records are also public, making details about your estate accessible.

Name Payable-on-Death Beneficiaries

Illinois allows payable-on-death (POD) designations on real estate deeds. By naming POD beneficiaries, your property can be transferred to them outright upon your passing without probate. Update deeds to list desired beneficiaries. Make sure you monitor regularly, as your circumstances can change, and this is one area people often overlook.

Establish Joint Tenancy Ownership

If you own Illinois real estate in joint tenancy with another individual's right to survivorship, your interest automatically passes to the co-owner when you die, avoiding probate. Work with an attorney to arrange proper titling. Carefully weigh co-ownership implications to make the best decision.

Use Revocable Living Trusts

Illinois living trusts let you place real estate into the trust during life. When you pass, The trustee then manages assets for beneficiaries per the trust terms, sidestepping probate. Keep properties re-titled into the trust current as your estate evolves.

Explore Limited Liability Companies (LLCs)

For investment real estate, consider titling it under an Illinois LLC. Your LLC membership interest then becomes an asset that transfers by beneficiary forms, averting probate. LLCs also provide liability protections.

Contact a DuPage County, IL Estate Planning Lawyer

Probate avoidance planning can be complex, especially when you try to tackle it yourself. An experienced Cook County, IL estate planning attorney can help create the optimal ownership and transfer strategies for your real estate holdings based on your priorities and beneficiaries.

With proper guidance, you can rest assured knowing your Illinois properties will remain in trusted hands when the time comes without getting held up in court proceedings. Call Whitacre & Stefanczuk LTD at 773-622-6100 for a free consultation to see which option may be the best for you and your situation. Obtaining legal guidance is an excellent way to ensure your rights and options are protected at this time. 

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