If I have a house that is paid for and want to leave it to my 4 adult children, how can I do this without a Will?

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If I have a house that is paid for and want to leave it to my 4 adult children, how can I do this without a Will?

Can I have a deed drawn up? If so, what type of deed?

Asked on May 8, 2013 under Estate Planning, Illinois

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

What you are attempting to do is to try and estate plan which is a great idea for everyone.  But you should really talk with some one in person about the best way to do that both legally and for tax reasons.  You can indeed execute a new deed naming the 4 of them as owners along with you or alone (but if you do it alone you may want to keep a life estate for yourself) or you can leave it to them in a Will (but then you have to go through probate) or you can start a trust and place the house in the trust with them as beneficiaries.  This also avoids probate.  Good luck.  


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