If you have a family home in Illinois and several potential heirs, you may want to make arrangements before you die to keep it out of probate. For parents who have several children, this may cause a contentious situation once they have passed away. At Zapolis & Associates, P.C., we often assist clients in the probate and administration process.

According to Wiling, Illinois is one of the states that allow transfer on death deeds, also known as a beneficiary deed. This estate planning option is a way to keep real estate out of probate, which can be a long, costly process. Property not held in any particular estate planning instrument, such as a trust, must go through the courts. You can turn a home, vacation cottage or any piece of real estate into nonprobate property at any time with a beneficiary deed. You can also cancel or change it, as it only goes into effect upon your death.

Create a beneficiary deed by adding the name or names of your heirs to the deed. In some states, you cannot split the property unevenly, and although it can be any person, the beneficiary may not be an entity. There are several requirements that you must meet for a transfer on death deed. They include having a valid legal description of the property and a statement transferring ownership upon your death.

A good rule of thumb is to name backup beneficiaries, in case the primary heir passes away before you do. An attorney can ensure the process is complete. When implemented correctly, the real estate goes to the person or persons you wish, without probate litigation. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.