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Benefits of Holding Tenancy by the Entirety in Illinois

Tenancy by the Entirety is a legal tool available to married couples that provides many important protections for their primary residence. For example, when one spouse passes away, the other spouse will inherit ownership of the entire property. Additionally—and importantly—a creditor of only one spouse may not foreclose on the property to collect the debt. Without Tenancy by the Entirety, your home is generally exposed to claims by creditors of either joint or individual debts.

Prior to 2011, Tenancy by the Entirety was not an option for homes that were held in a revocable living trust, which is a common tool to protect property from the probate process after the death of an owner. Owners could only make use of Tenancy by the Entirety protections if they directly owned their home, which would open the property up to probate, upon death of the last spouse.

In 2011, however, the Illinois legislature passed a bill1 that amended the state Joint Tenancy Act2 to allow married couple to simultaneously hold their primary residency as Tenants by the Entirety and hold it in a revocable living trust if it was transferred to the trust after January 1, 2011. This means that couples can shield their family home from both probate and from creditors of an individual spouse, which are both extremely important when planning for the future of your estate. Discuss whether Tenancy by the Entirety is the right option for you with one of our attorneys today.


Determining how to protect your real estate and adequately protect your family after your death can be complicated. Fortunately, at the Lawler Brown Law Firm, our attorneys have extensive knowledge of both estate planning and real estate laws in Illinois to help you best plan for the future. We examine your situation and use the estate planning tools that will best accomplish your goals. We help individuals and families throughout Southern Illinois including Jackson County, Williamson County, and Gallatin County, so please schedule a consultation by calling 618-993-2222 today.