Estate Planning 101

Adding a House to a Trust in Illinois

In this blog post, we'll explore the ins and outs of adding a house to a trust in Illinois. We'll delve into the benefits and drawbacks, discuss the costs involved, and provide a clear, step-by-step guide on how to navigate the process. We'll also address key topics such as estate taxes, selling a house in a trust, dealing with mortgages, refinancing, and transferring out of a trust.
April 10, 2024

Are you an executor or trustee?

Snug can help you get organized by providing one place to store and analyze Wills, Trusts, and other essential documents. You can inventory finances, personal property, digital assets, insurance, and more.
Get started for free

Want to get organized?

Snug can help you organize all of life's details by providing one place to store and analyze Wills, Trusts, and other essential documents. You can inventory finances, personal property, digital assets, insurance, and more.
Get started for free

Want to offer estate planning?

Snug is a complete estate planning solution built for Financial Advisors who want to save time and offer their clients more. Whether you have an UHNW client who needs their documents analyzed or a mass affluent client getting their first Trust, we can help.
Get started for free

Need a Will or Trust?

Snug makes it easy to create a Will or Trust in under 20 minutes. Powers of Attorney and Health Care Directives are included for free with any Will or Trust, as is a year of free updates.
Get started for free

Estate planning is an essential part of securing your future and that of your loved ones. One crucial aspect of estate planning is deciding whether to add your house to a trust. While the process might seem daunting, understanding it can help you make informed decisions. Illinois, like every other state, has specific laws regarding trusts and estate planning. Here, we will guide you through the process of adding a house to a trust in Illinois.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Adding a House to a Trust in Illinois

Before making the decision to add your house to a trust in Illinois, you should consider the potential advantages and disadvantages.

Benefits:

  1. Avoiding Probate: The primary advantage of placing your house in a trust is that it allows your property to bypass the probate process, saving your heirs time and money.
  2. Privacy: A trust allows for greater privacy as it does not become part of the public record like a will.
  3. Control and Flexibility: A living trust allows you to maintain control over the property during your lifetime. You can also change or revoke the trust at any time.

Drawbacks:

  1. Upfront Costs: Trusts are generally more expensive to set up than wills due to their complexity.
  2. Maintenance: Trusts require ongoing management, which could involve additional costs and time.
  3. Complexity: Trusts are more complex than wills and require a more detailed process to set up and manage.

The Process of Adding a House to a Trust in Illinois

Adding a house to a trust in Illinois involves several steps, including:

  1. Creating a Trust: The first step is to create the trust document, which outlines the terms of the trust, including the beneficiaries and what happens to the property upon your death.
  2. Property Appraisal: It may be beneficial to have your property appraised to determine its current market value before transferring it into the trust.
  3. Title Transfer: The next step is to transfer the title of your house to the trust. This involves creating a new deed with the name of the trust as the grantee. In Illinois, the deed must be signed and notarized.
  4. Record the Deed: The new deed must then be recorded with the county recorder's office in the county where the property is located.
  5. Notify Mortgage Lender and Insurance Company: Lastly, you should notify your mortgage lender and insurance company about the change in ownership.

Costs of Adding a House to a Trust in Illinois

The costs of adding a house to a trust in Illinois can vary based on several factors, including:

  1. Legal Fees: The cost of setting up a trust can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on whether you use an online service or hire an attorney.
  2. Property Appraisal Fees: The cost of a home appraisal typically ranges between $300 and $400.
  3. Deed Preparation and Recording Fees: These fees can range from $100 to $250 for deed preparation, and around $50 for recording, but can vary by county.
  4. Mortgage and Insurance Considerations: Depending on your lender, there may be a fee associated with transferring a mortgaged property into a trust. Additionally, you'll need to inform your homeowner's insurance company about the transfer to ensure your property remains properly insured.

Estate Taxes in Illinois

Unlike many states, Illinois imposes its own estate tax in addition to the federal estate tax. The Illinois estate tax applies to estates exceeding $4 million in value. However, transferring your house to a trust does not exempt it from federal or state estate taxes. The property will still be considered part of your taxable estate. Certain types of trusts, like an irrevocable trust, can help reduce or eliminate estate tax liability.

Selling a House in a Trust in Illinois

Selling a house in a trust in Illinois is possible and can be done with the trustee carrying out the sale process. The proceeds from the sale would then go into the trust. However, selling a house from a trust might have tax implications, such as capital gains tax, unless the property is the seller's primary residence.

Adding a House with a Mortgage to a Trust in Illinois

In Illinois, you can still transfer a mortgaged house into a trust. However, it's crucial to inform your mortgage lender about the transfer. If your house is in an irrevocable trust, transferring a mortgaged property into the trust may require the lender's approval.

Refinancing a House in a Trust in Illinois

Refinancing a property held in a trust in Illinois can be a bit more intricate than a standard refinance. However, it's certainly not impossible. Many homeowners with properties in a trust successfully refinance their homes. They typically have to temporarily remove the property from the trust, refinance the home, and then put it back into the trust.

Transferring a House out of a Trust in Illinois

If you wish to remove your house from a trust in Illinois, the process will depend on the type of trust you have. If your house is in a revocable trust, the process is generally straightforward. However, if your house is in an irrevocable trust, removing it can be more complex and may require the consent of the beneficiaries and potentially court approval.

Transferring a property out of a trust can have tax implications and may affect your estate planning strategy.