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  • Erica Minchella

Covid, Wills, And Trusts

During the pandemic, I have been thinking a great deal about death, especially when I learned that a colleague from whom I sat across the table from for 20 years succumbed to COVID-19.

My husband and I have been trying to motivate ourselves to update our wills .Our current wills do not mention our children and those who have come into our family through marriage, or our new grandchild. Yeah, our wills are due for an update.

On the death of the first of us, the survivor would have a piece of property that would have to be probated if title is left solely to him or her, which can get expensive. When there is little property or little property value conveyed, recording deeds after an owner dies has become much easier and

With a little forethought and minimal cost, owners can avoid the costly probate process by putting title to the property in an Illinois land trust or a personal trust. Drafting a personal or land is usually cheaper than probate. Specifically, deeding real property into a land trust or a personal trust costs $98 for recording the conveyance, plus possible other costs for transfer stamps. Overall, those costs are pretty minimal. Such trusts allow the surviving partner of a marriage to have the same sort of beneficial interest as a tenancy by the entirety.

Beware, however, that when successor beneficiaries who do not get along are named, things can get pretty ugly. After remembering how my kids used to argue in the backseat, this only reinforced that fear. Make sure, when you name beneficiaries, you consider what controls you need to put in place to assure that everyone remains civil.


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