In Illinois, all assets do not pass under a deceased person’s Will. If any assets of the deceased person were held jointly with a surviving owner, then the property automatically passes to the surviving joint owner upon death. This includes bank accounts, investment accounts, automobiles, real estate, etc., held jointly by two or more parties. Also, if the deceased person owned a life insurance policy (or a similar financial asset) with a surviving beneficiary, the proceeds under the policy would be paid out directly to that beneficiary upon the deceased person’s death. In addition, property can be placed in a Trust prior to death, and that property is not typically affected by any of the provisions of the Will since the Trust has its own set of provisions for distribution. Thus, if any of the above-mentioned situations occur, no Probate Court proceeding would be necessary to transfer title to the property.
By making a Will, the Testator is effectively setting a distribution strategy for all of the property in his/her estate held in his/her name alone at death. Any assets titled otherwise would likely not be affected by the provisions of the Will. Also, if someone is a surviving joint owner on a bank account with a person who has passed away, presenting a certified copy of the deceased person’s death certificate to the bank should be enough to change the titling accordingly. And if someone is a surviving joint owner on a piece of real estate with a person who has passed away, that person will simply need to present a certified copy of the deceased person’s death certificate at any closing on the property when he/she wishes to sell or transfer the real estate to a third party.
If you have questions regarding a Probate estate in the greater Chicago area, give our office a call at (630) 898-4789 to set up a free initial consultation. You can also email us at email@example.com if you would prefer to communicate with us via email.
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