Matthew S. Payne is a Chicago-based attorney with a 20-year record of success in civil litigation, real estate law and estate planning.

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Real estate and trusts

On Behalf of | Sep 21, 2022 | Estate Planning

In Illinois, estate planning with real estate often involves transferring real estate assets into a trust. This can be done to reduce the taxes due on the estate, to better control the probate process and for other reasons. Trusts are an important tool for managing estate assets.

Putting real estate into a trust

The process of putting real estate into a trust is simple, assuming that the trust has already been created. First, the original owner, or grantor, has to transfer the title to the trust.

The next step is creating a new deed for the real estate that will override the old one. The new deed can be exactly like the old one. It simply has to name the new owner and will need to describe a transaction that transfers ownership. The simplest way is to specify a sale for $1. After that, sign the new deed and get the signature notarized. Then, the new deed can be filed with the land court.

Why transfer to a trust?

There are multiple types of trusts that can hold real estate. The primary benefit is usually to make sure that the real estate can quickly transfer from the original owner to their heir or heirs after the owner dies. Setting up the trust properly allows this transfer to happen right away instead of having to go through an extended estate administration and probate process. A trust can also provide tax benefits in the context of the rest of the estate.

Moving real estate to a trust can have tangible estate planning benefits and is fairly simple to execute, depending on the type of trust involved.