Deeds and Title

Ownership and Deeds in Illinois

Every state is slightly different in its laws regarding property ownership. Knowing the basics of property law generally in the United States can go a long way. However, as you buy and sell properties in a state, knowing that market’s specific laws and preferences can help to set expectations and make your transactions move forward more smoothly. 

In this article, we walk through some of the key ownership considerations in Illinois.

Types of Ownership in Illinois

Illinois recognizes four basic types of ownership: sole ownership, tenancy by the entirety, joint tenants, and tenants in common. 

Sole Ownership in Illinois

In this type of ownership, one individual or entity owns the property completely with no other tenants. 

There is one wrinkle with regard to sole ownership in Illinois. Illinois recognizes homestead, meaning that the non-owner spouse is required to sign the deed selling, conveying, or encumbering any property considered a homestead. 

Tenant by the Entirety in Illinois

This is a form of ownership specifically created for spouses. In Illinois, spouses have the option of owning property by the entirety, which functions like a joint tenancy in that the surviving spouse will immediately take ownership of the property on the death of the other spouse.

Joint Tenants in Illinois

Illinois recognizes joint tenancy with right of survivorship as a common form of joint ownership. This form allows multiple people or entities to own a title interest to the property, and comes with various rights and responsibilities. In particular, joint tenancies with right of survivorship involve all parties having equal ownership and the right to assume another owner’s interest in the event the other owner dies. 

Tenancy in Common in Illinois

Illinois also recognizes tenancy in common as a form of co-ownership. Tenancy in common allows multiple owners to own title in a property, but rather than owning equally, the owners can set varying ownership percentages. For example, one owner could own 51% of the property, with the other owning 49%. Additionally, an owner’s share would pass to the owner’s heirs upon death, rather than passing to the other tenants in common. 

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Types of Deeds in Illinois

The most common deed form in Illinois is the warranty deed. Warranty deeds provide a form of protection to the buyer as a warranty by the seller that guarantees no issues with the title. 

All other deed forms, such as limited warranty deeds and quitclaim deeds, are available and insurable in Illinois. The insurability of a particular deed is subject to the circumstances surrounding its issuance, meaning that in some cases, additional underwriting may be required for non-warranty deeds. 


Knowing how a property is typically conveyed in a state, and what types of ownership are available for the title can go a long way to ensuring a smooth transaction. 

Illinois has fairly standard ownership recognition. It does, however, recognize tenancy by the entirety and homestead, meaning that if the person you are buying from is married, these doctrines may play a role in your transaction.

*The information provided on this site does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal, financial, tax, or real estate advice. Please consult your expert for advice in those areas. All content is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide a complete description of the subject matter. Although Blueprint provides information it believes to be accurate, Blueprint makes no representations or warranties about the accuracy or completeness of the information contained on this site. Specific processes will vary based on applicable law. The title and closing process will be handled by a third-party attorney to the extent required by law. Product offerings vary by jurisdiction and are not available or solicited in any state where we are not licensed.