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When Is a Trust the Best Option to Use in My Estate Plan?

Posted on in Estate Planning

Oak Forest estate planning attorney

While a will documents your wishes for what will happen with your belongings after your death, a living trust allows you to determine how to handle your assets both while you are alive and after you have passed. In your trust, you may be called the “grantor,” “settlor,” or “trustor,” and you will be able to designate who will get your possessions. These people are called your “beneficiaries.” You will also name someone as your “trustee,” which means that he or she will be the one to ensure that your wishes are carried out correctly.

You may be your own trustee, or you can name a survivor trustee who will take control of the trust after your death. You may also set yourself up as a beneficiary of the trust while you are living, and you can add others as beneficiaries, including a spouse, children, or a friend. A living trust can be changed as you feel necessary at any time, or you may cancel it altogether. The trust will be empty until it is funded, which means that until you have transferred your assets to the trust, it will not go into effect.

What Are the Advantages of a Trust Versus a Will?

There are a few differences between a trust and a will, with one advantage being the lack of need for probate of your assets. When you pass away, your appointed trustee will follow your instructions for distributing your assets. Because the trust is considered the owner of the assets, the trust does not have to be put into probate, and the assets can be distributed directly to the beneficiaries. Another advantage is that a trust is often easier to amend, as it does not have to be signed in front of witnesses.

Additionally, a living trust can make allowances for what will happen if you become disabled and are no longer capable of handling your own assets. Your instructions will be followed by your selected trustee in order to continue to provide for your care. He or she may or may not be compensated for the service, depending on how you lay out the plan.

The nature of a trust makes it possible to be kept private as well. When a will is filed in probate court, it will be publicly accessible. Since a trust does not need to go through the probate process, its terms and any information about the distribution of your assets will be kept completely private.

Contact an Oak Forest Living Trust Lawyer

The knowledgeable attorneys at Anderson & Associates, P.C. can help you understand your options when setting up a living trust, and we can help with your other estate planning needs. It is wise to get advice from an experienced Orland Park estate planning attorney with your living trust to make sure it includes all the necessary details. Call 708-226-9904 for a free consultation.

Source:

https://www.isba.org/public/guide/livingtrust

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