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What Is the Difference Between a Will and a Trust in Illinois?

Posted on in Estate Planning

Orland Park will and trust attorney

In life, it can be a good idea to plan ahead, since no one knows what the future holds. Estate planning is the process of arranging in advance for the management and disposal of your estate both while you are alive and after your death. Estate planning is crucial for your future as well as your family’s well-being. Wills and trusts are two of the most common legal documents that are created in the estate planning process. Both handle finances and assets, but they do so in different ways. Many families seek legal assistance to create one, if not both, of these estate planning tools to have peace of mind in regards to their future.

What Does a Will Do?

A will details what will happen to you and your assets after your death. It will state how you want your affairs handled and how your property should be distributed to your heirs. While many young adults and parents do not take the time to consider their own death, addressing these issues can ensure that your wishes are followed correctly. If you have minor children, you should take the time to appoint guardians to ensure that they will be taken care of by people you know and trust. If this is not decided before death, children may be placed into the hands of a family member who you would not want to care for their children. 

A will also allow you to name the individuals who will inherit your estate. Some parents may wish to leave their assets to all of their children, others may leave property to just one child, and some may name their spouse as their primary beneficiary. In some cases, parents may wish to “disinherit” a child and remove them from their will. In the event that you do or do not want one of your children to receive certain assets, a will is the only way to ensure that these wishes will be enforced after you have passed. Wills are filed in probate court and thus become part of the public record once a person dies.

Is a Trust the Better Choice For Me?

Much like wills, trusts are unique to each person’s situation. However, the two documents have many differences. A trust places property under the control of another person, known as the “trustee,” who is legally required to follow the terms of the agreement and distribute the property to the beneficiaries named in the trust. There are different types of trusts that the “grantor,” the individual who creates and funds the trust, can select. 

Living trusts become active during the grantor’s lifetime. Revocable living trusts allow the grantor to serve as the trustee while he or she is still alive. A “successor trustee” will take control of the assets once the grantor passes. These types of trusts can still be changed after they are created. On the other hand, irrevocable living trusts take the power out of the grantor’s hands. A trustee is assigned and takes control of the property within the trust. Trusts remain private and are not subject to probate.

Contact an Orland Park Estate Planning Lawyer 

In order to complete the estate planning process and ensure that your wishes are followed correctly, it is important to work with an experienced legal professional. Many people believe that estate planning should be completed later in life. However, it is impossible to predict the future, so regardless of your age, it is essential to follow the proper measures to ensure that your family's needs will be met, no matter what happens. At Anderson & Associates, P.C., our attorneys can help you understand all of your options and guide you through the process of creating a comprehensive estate plan. Contact our Orland Park estate planning attorneys at 708-226-9904 for a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/051315/will-vs-trust-difference-between-two.asp 

https://www.thebalance.com/difference-between-a-will-and-a-trust-3974765

 

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