Illinois Transfer on Death Affidavit

A solution for many people and a must have in any Estate Plan.

The Illinois Transfer on Death Act (TODI) was enacted in Illinois several years ago. Basically, it allows homeowner to name a beneficiary to their home. The concept has been around for a while, but very few states have enacted statutes.

For many individuals and couples, their main asset is their home. Traditionally, the only way to transfer the home upon death was to either open a Probate Estate with the courts or for the heirs of the deceased to sell the house by using a “Bond in lieu of Probate”. Both options, however, pose some problems can be pretty costly. As an estate planning attorney, I always found it frustrating for clients to have to pay this excessive cost.

Although there were some other options such as Living Trusts, Land Trusts and Joint Tenancy with Right of survivorship, the options all came with some issues and costs, which seemed excessive for someone whose main asset was their home.

Since TODI, the process of transferring a home has become much simpler. A person signs a Transfer on Death Affidavit that names a beneficiary (or beneficiaries) to their home. The document is two pages or less and is recorded with the county recorder’s office at a very nominal cost. It does not change how the property is titled while the person is still living. One can revoke or change a TODI, or just sell the property, while living, without the TODI beneficiary’s notice or consent.

The latest revisions to the TODI occurred in 2015 and sought to eliminate some of the prior confusions and problems.

As an estate planning attorney, I believe that a TODI is an essential part of almost ANY estate plan. If you would like to hear more about TODI or discuss your estate plan, please call or email Joerg Seifert at [email protected] or 630-832-2333 for a free consultation.