DuPage County, IL estate planning lawyerOne of the most popular estate planning tools that are available is a trust. There are a number of different types of trusts that can be utilized, depending on what your needs are. Many of the clients who meet with our Illinois estate planning attorneys are often surprised at the number of assets that can be protected by placing them in a trust. The following touches on some of the benefits a trust offers. Contact our office for more detailed information.

What Is a Trust?

A trust is a legal instrument that protects assets from various risks that could ultimately lead to some sort of loss of those assets. Some of the more common risks include:

  • Divorce

  • Creditors

  • Excessive spending

  • High tax obligations

  • Lawsuits

The person setting up the trust is called the grantor or the trustor. The grantor establishes the trust, places the assets in it, and names the beneficiary who will be granted ownership of the assets when the grantor dies. 

The grantor will also name a trustee. The trustee is the person who will oversee the management of the trust. In many cases, the grantor names themselves as the trustee. If the beneficiary will have control of the assets immediately upon the grantor’s death, then it is not necessary for anyone to step into the trustee role when the grantor dies. However, if the beneficiary will not have control of the funds – i.e., if the beneficiary is a minor – then the grantor will choose a third party to be the trustee.

Setting up a trust also means that the assets placed in the trust will not be part of any probate process that might be necessary when the grantor dies. The beneficiary (or trustee) has immediate access to the assets, unlike assets that are part of an estate that is addressed in a will. The probate process can take up to a year, or even longer if there are any objections to the will, leaving these assets tied up and untouchable until the probate process has been resolved.

What Assets Can Be Placed in a Trust?

There are a number of assets that can be held in the trust, including:

  • Financial accounts, such as savings, checking, and money market accounts

  • Real estate, including the family home, vacation homes, land, and investment properties

  • Stocks and bonds

  • Business interests

  • Collections, such as art, antiques, and jewelry

  • Life insurance policies

Contact a Cook County Estate Planning Lawyer

While trusts are an essential part of estate planning, it is important to know what type of trusts will be the most beneficial for your family. Some of the more common types of trusts include revocable, irrevocable, special needs, testamentary, and charitable. Call [[title]] at [[phone]] to schedule a free consultation with one of our seasoned DuPage County estate planning attorneys so you can have the peace of mind of knowing your family will be protected when you are no longer here.

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