Estate planning involves outlining someone’s wishes regarding finances, property, and medical care in the event that he or she becomes incapacitated and is unable to make those decisions, or when he or she passes away. These essential and legally binding documents are often referred to as living trusts, and the person who creates it is called the “grantor.” This type of trust requires minimal maintenance during the grantor’s life. Upon the grantor’s death, however, the trust becomes irrevocable and certain legal actions must be taken to enforce it. While every trust and estate is unique depending on an individual’s situation and wishes, the trust administration includes certain actions by the party named to take care of it, called the “trustee.” Administering a trust avoids the expense of going through the probate process. In addition, it offers more privacy, because the case does not go to court and it is not available to the general public.

Steps for Administration


The trustee who is named in the trust document oversees the administration of the terms of the trust. The trustee is tasked with ensuring that the directives of the deceased person are followed. It is important to note that trustees are obligated to take care of any and all property under their control until said property is officially transferred to its beneficiaries.
Here are the main legal steps that are required when administering someone’s estate or trust in Illinois: 

– Apply for a tax identification number from the IRS for tax return purposes.

– Notify pertinent third parties of the death, including information on the trustee and tax consequences.

– File tax returns on the decedent’s behalf if applicable.

– Make decisions for the investment and disposition of assets.

– Pay federal and/or state estate tax if applicable.

– Pay the decedent’s debts and the trust’s administration costs.

– Create and fund any sub-trusts created per the terms of the original trust.

– Divide and distribute (or retain in trust) shares to any named beneficiaries.

– Communicate with the trust’s beneficiaries.

– Carry out any other relevant terms of the trust instrument.

Contact a Long Grove Estate Planning Lawyer


Planning for the future by creating a comprehensive estate plan can help safeguard against disputes between family members. If you were designated to administer an estate or trust in Illinois, it is crucial that you seek professional legal guidance before taking on this important endeavor. At Dross, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC, we are prepared to put our proven methods to work for you. Our seasoned Kenilworth trust administration lawyers are well-versed in Illinois laws and how they may affect your case. Call our office today at 847-934-8000 to learn more by scheduling a free consultation.

About the Author: Attorney Jay Andrew is a founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law and has been practicing in estate planning, probate, trust administration, real estate law, residential/ commercial leasing, contracts, and civil litigation. Since 2005, Jay has been a Chair of the Mock Trial Committee for the Annual Northwest Suburban Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitation which serves over 240 local Illinois students each year.

Source: 
https://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=4001&ChapterID=61