What is a Living Trust?

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What is a Living Trust?

A living trust is a legal document that allows an individual, referred to as the grantor or settlor, to transfer their assets into a trust during their lifetime. The grantor maintains control over their assets and can change the trust as they see fit. Upon the grantor’s death or incapacity, the assets held in the living trust are distributed to the beneficiaries specified in the trust document.

The following blog explores the benefits of having a living trust for the individual or family and options for legal representation to ensure property and assets are settled in the event of incapacity or death. 

What are the benefits of establishing a living trust?

One of the primary benefits of a living trust is the avoidance of probate. Probate is the legal process through which a deceased person’s assets are distributed to their heirs. It can be time-consuming, expensive, and subject to public scrutiny. By placing assets in a living trust, they are not subject to probate, allowing for a faster and more private transfer of assets to beneficiaries. A qualified lawyer can help individuals and families understand the estate planning process with open communication and ease.

Another advantage of a living trust is the potential for incapacity planning. If the grantor becomes mentally or physically incapacitated, a successor trustee appointed in the trust document can step in and manage the assets on behalf of the grantor. A legal plan in place can ensure that the grantor’s financial affairs are handled according to their wishes, without the need for a court-appointed guardian or conservator.

In Illinois, the laws regarding living trusts are governed by the Illinois Trust Code. It outlines the requirements for creating a valid trust in the state. An attorney familiar with Illinois estate planning laws, such as those at Andrea Hackman law firm, can provide valuable insights and assist individuals in creating a living trust that adheres to these legal requirements.

How can legal representation assist families who want to establish a living trust?

The creation of a living trust is a legally recognized process. The laws governing trusts vary from state to state, but generally, a living trust must be in writing, signed by the grantor, and witnessed or notarized. It is advisable to consult with an attorney specializing in estate planning to ensure the trust is created correctly and complies with state laws.

Living trusts are suitable for a wide range of individuals. They are particularly beneficial for those with substantial assets, blended families, minor children, or individuals who desire privacy in their estate planning. Moreover, a living trust can be helpful for individuals who own real estate in multiple states, as it can help avoid the need for ancillary probate proceedings in each state where the property is located.

Looking for a living trust lawyer? Contact Andrea Hackman.

A living trust is a powerful estate planning tool that offers numerous benefits, including probate avoidance, incapacity planning, and privacy. While the laws surrounding living trusts vary by state, consulting with an attorney, such as those at Andrea Hackman, can help individuals in Illinois create a legally sound living trust that aligns with their unique circumstances and goals. 

We are here to help you create a legal plan for your future. With the assistance of a knowledgeable lawyer, families can establish a comprehensive estate plan that provides peace of mind and ensures the smooth transfer of assets to future generations. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

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Andrea Heckman

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