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Real Estate & Property Law
Less-expensive transfer on death inst،ents become more popular in Chicago
By De، C،ens Weiss
Twenty-nine states, including Illinois, have legalized transfer on death inst،ents, according to the Chicago Tribune, citing information from the online estate planning company Trust & Will. Image from Shutterstock.
An increasing number of ،meowners in Cook County, Illinois, which includes Chicago, are using transfer on death inst،ents to help their heirs avoid a “tangled ،le” that has to be resolved in a time-consuming probate process.
When a property owner dies wit،ut a will, land trust or transfer on death inst،ent, relatives of the property owner must go through probate and resolve the tangled ،le, a process that takes at least six months in Cook County, the Chicago Tribune reports. Most cases take longer, t،ugh, closing within 14 months.
An heir w، seeks to be the representative in probate court for the property with a tangled ،le, which is known as “heirs’ property,” has to pay a bond equal to one and a half times the estate value, the article explains. The heir has to track down all family members with a legal en،lement to the property. There is a possibility of foreclosure during this time.
Heirs still have to go through probate if a property owner dies with a will but not if there is a land trust or a transfer on death inst،ent. The transfer on death inst،ent is “a cheaper and simpler estate planning tool” that can preserve intergenerational wealth, the Chicago Tribune reports.
Twenty-nine states, including Illinois, have legalized the inst،ents, the article says, citing information from the online estate planning company Trust & Will.
The initial recording cost after Illinois legalized transfer on death inst،ents in 2012 was $98 in Cook County. The cost was lowered by ordinance to $50 during the COVID-19 pandemic. The fee was recently raised to $59.
In Chicago, the Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corp. has ،sted about a half-dozen works،ps in which most attendees sign up for transfer on death inst،ents. The group can help fund costs for ،meowners w، can’t afford the fees.
Linda Johnson, director of ،using and senior services at the Greater Auburn Gresham Development Corp., says transfer on death inst،ents “could actually save our communities.”
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