My children are beneficiaries on my mortgage. Will they have to go through probate I when I die?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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My children are beneficiaries on my mortgage. Will they have to go through probate I when I die?

I live in Illinois. I am not married. My adult daughters are the beneficiaries on my
home loan. If I die will they get the house without having to file probate? What about
after the mortgage is paid off?

Asked on July 9, 2017 under Estate Planning, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

They would only get the home without probate if they were on the title of the home with you, specifically as joint tenants with right of survivorship (JTROS); in that case on the death of one owner ("tenant") the surviving owners ("tenants") automatically receive her share without the home becoming part of the deceased's estate or going through probate. There are downsides to doing this, since you would be giving them partial ownership of your home *now*, so they would have rights to it and some control over it.
Alternately, you could give them the home now BUT retain a "life estate": you will have the right to possess, occupy, use, etc. the home without their interference for the remainder of your life, subject only to your obligation to take reasonable steps (e.g. maintenance) to preserve its value for them in the future. You will not be able to sell the home or get its equity, but will be able to live there for the rest of you life.
If you want to consider either of these options, speak with a real estate attorney.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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