Our Estate Planning Lawyers Help Clients Plan For Their Families’ Future
The trust lawyer of MacDonald, Lee & Senechalle, Ltd. work one on one with our clients to offer you the best estate planning advice for you and your family’s unique circumstances. With a trust, you can segregate assets for management by a trustee to benefit your loved ones. This also protects those assets from claims of creditors.
When is a Trust Useful?
Our trust lawyer will discuss your needs and goals with you to determine if your situation requires a trust, as well as what type will best serve you and your family. In some cases, it may be possible to incorporate trust provisions into a will. However, creating a separate, living trust is frequently the best way to protect your assets and loved ones. This provides you with privacy and automatically appoints someone to oversee your assets and affairs. If you were to become ill or otherwise incapacitated, your trustee can handle your personal business without the courts becoming involved.
Types of Trusts
It is important to you and your family that you create the best kind of trust for your situation. Our trust lawyer will gladly explain the estate planning roles of revocable and irrevocable trusts, such as:
- Charitable trusts
- Credit shelter or “bypass” trusts
- A/B trusts for spouses
- Medicaid trusts
- Supplemental needs trusts
- Revocable living trusts
- Life insurance trusts
- Dynasty trusts
There are other types of trusts as well; one will address the particular needs of your family. Our trust attorneys fully and clearly explain your options, and work with you to determine what type will be right for you.
Do I Need a Will and Trust?
How to distribute assets after death is a very difficult series of decisions. Both wills and trusts are used as part of estate planning in Illinois to clarify your intentions, protect your family and reduce your estate tax liabilities. Whether your estate is large or small, it is in your best interest to establish a comprehensive estate plan utilizing testamentary will and trust entities. Our team of estate planning attorneys in Hoffman Estates and Des Plaines IL enjoys helping people find the best estate planning solution by taking into account every aspect of their unique situations.
Lawyers for Estate Planning on Differences between a Will and Trust
Testamentary wills are documents that go into effect only after death. They are necessary for all people to name legal guardians of children and property beneficiaries.
Trusts are legal entities that hold and distribute assets to named beneficiaries. A trust creates a fiduciary duty on the part of the trustee to carry out the intentions of the person who funds the trust. The person who funds a trust is known as a grantor, trustor, settlor or donor, among other names. Different types of trusts can serve many Illinois estate planning goals, including tax minimization, control over assets and the distribution of property over time. Some trusts are created and carried out during the life of the grantor, while others only go into effect upon death. Typically, a will and a trust should be drafted together to complement each other.
Additional differences between a will and a trust are as follows:
- Wills go through probate administration; trust assets are not part of a probate estate. Administration in probate court can take time, while trust assets can be distributed immediately and without court supervision. Probate filings and wills are public documents, while trusts are completely private entities. The probate estate is subject to estate tax, while certain trusts can avoid this tax entirely.
- Wills distribute assets only after death; many trusts can be settled and property can be distributed during life. While a will only takes effect upon the passing of the grantor, creating a trust may be good if you have minor children or other beneficiaries who you would like to receive certain assets and real or personal property transferred to the trust, regardless if you are alive or deceased.
- Wills put in place guardianship and other arrangements; trusts can put in place plans for disability and insurance policies. In a will, unlike a trust, you will have the advantage of naming a guardian for your children and specifying funeral arrangements. Certain trusts, such as life insurance trusts and special needs trusts, are viable options to put in place plans for paying estate tax liabilities and providing resources to children with disabilities.
What are the Differences between a Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts in Illinois?
Trusts are usually best if you have many assets, out-of-state assets or if you wish to manage your assets while alive. The two main types of trusts for estate planning include:
- Revocable – Revocable trusts are trusts in which the grantor holds on to the ability to change, modify or revoke the trust at any time. Assets transferred to revocable trusts before the passing of the grantor are not subject to probate, as the trust owns the assets and property. Revocable living trusts in Illinois become irrevocable upon the death of the grantor.
- Irrevocable – Irrevocable trusts cannot be changed or modified once the grantor creates it. Any property a grantor transfers to an irrevocable trust cannot be taken out by anyone, including the grantor. There are many types of irrevocable trusts, such as charitable planning, bypass, special needs planning, asset protection, life insurance trusts and more. Irrevocable trusts in Illinois are typically used to protect property and reduce or avoid taxes.
Contact Our Firm to Protect Your Loved Ones with a Trust
Reach out to our trust lawyer today to talk with our firm about how we uphold our Client Bill of Rights in all the legal services we offer. We know that estate planning is a way of providing peace of mind to our clients. Knowing that you have provided your loved ones with ample resources is comforting, and we want to help you do this in the most efficient way possible.