A comprehensive estate plan will have both a will and trust to ensure all financial and physical assets are distributed in an orderly manner after the death of an individual. The process of estate planning and the forming of trusts is currently covered under the Illinois Trusts and Trustees Act. However, starting January 1, 2020, it will be replaced by the Illinois Trust Accumulation Act.
Estate planning is considered an important milestone for an individual. The two main instruments used to either distribute financial and physical assets include a will, or a trust. Considering the fact both trusts and wills require careful planning and execution, consulting an experienced family attorney can help make the process and execution seamless.
The Need of a Will
A will is an important element of estate planning. It outlines a schedule of asset distribution and a list of wishes the court executes. A will is usually needed to enforce guardianship or provide authority to an individual to carry out specific tasks on your behalf. For example, if you are transferring assets to a minor, appointing a guardian to manage the distribution is one such wish. A will needs to be signed and witnesses by unrelated parties. It is possible to use a will to form a testamentary trust, which distributes assets through an insurance policy. These are made primarily for disabled individuals, young children, or relatives in your family or close circles.
The Need of a Trust
A trust is a legal agreement that brings together a grantor, a beneficiary and a trustee to manage and split assets under defined roles and rules. In Illinois, either a revocable living trust or an irrevocable living trust can be formed. A revocable living trust can be canceled, or modified during your lifetime. Here are some reasons you might consider forming a trust.
- Unlike a will, a trust can be used to avoid probate court proceedings as assets transferred or filed under a trust can be easily transferred to the trustee or beneficiary.
- A trust can safeguard assets from creditors, bankruptcies, or divorce proceedings.
- A trust supports disabled dependents who can use assets, combined with government benefits, to pay for medical expenses.
- Trust can also reduce estate taxes.
Making the right choice can safeguard your dependents from monthly probate court proceedings.
If you require assistance in writing a will or forming a trust and other family law related matter, then schedule a free consultation by contacting Casement Law Group at (847) 888-9300 to speak with an experienced family and real estate lawyer to help understand your rights and obligations.