Cook County changes the way inherited property is transferred to a new owner

A warning to anyone who has recently inherited property: contact your attorney today. A recent change by the Cook County government will delay the time it takes to transfer ownership from the deceased to his or her heirs. And can significantly increase costs.

The Cook County Recorder of Deeds will no longer record deeds from the heirs of a deceased property owner without court proceedings and documentation that the Recorder deems acceptable. Depending on the size of the estate being settled, this could force an estate to go through the probate court system. Proper notification will be made to all creditors (among others).

This affects your timetable

This process can be costly, and it takes time.  The weeks or months spent in probate will delay your plans to sell the property you inherit or refinance a loan against the property in question.

A recent release from Chicago Title Insurance Company suggests that probate proceedings be opened whenever the owner of an interest in real estate in Cook County dies, with three exceptions.

Not affected by these changes from the Cook County Recorder of Deeds are:

  • insurance of titles that are held by a trust
  • insurance of titles based upon a valid Transfer on Death Instrument
  • insurance of titles based upon the death of a joint tenant or tenant by the entirety.

A well-organized estate serves everyone best

Contact your North Shore Property Law attorney today to see how this change from the Cook County Recorder of Deeds affects your estate or inheritance.