Chicago Area Trust Attorneys
Lawyers for Living Trusts and Estate Planning in Illinois
Planning for the future is important for every family. In addition to addressing how you want your property to be distributed to your heirs after your death, your estate plan can also make sure that you and your family members will have the financial resources you need during your lifetime, and you can take steps to protect your assets and minimize the taxes that may apply to you. Trusts are a powerful, flexible estate planning tool that can help you address these issues. With the help of a qualified and experienced attorney, you can determine how to create and fund trusts and establish a comprehensive estate plan that will meet your family’s needs. Trusts can also protect you during your lifetime, should you be in a situation where you cannot act, e.g. you have a stroke or dementia. The successor trustee can then take care of your finances for you, using the assets that are in the trust’s name.
At the Gierach Law Firm, our lawyers are highly experienced in estate planning matters, and we have been working with families for more than 30 years to ensure that they are prepared for the future. We can help you understand your best options for protecting your assets and providing for your family’s financial needs. By working with you to create a will, establish trusts, and address other estate planning concerns, we can provide you with the peace of mind you need.
Understanding Different Types of Trusts
A trust is a financial instrument and legal agreement in which a person’s assets are placed under the control of a trustee while providing instructions on how these assets should be distributed to certain beneficiaries. Creating a trust can ensure that assets are protected, and it can also allow taxes on these assets to be minimized or deferred. Assets in a trust can often be distributed more easily and efficiently than those that are left to one’s heirs in a will since it will not be necessary to go through the probate process. A trust can also provide specific instructions for when and how assets will be distributed.
Some common types of trusts include:
- Revocable living trusts – With these types of trusts, the person who creates the trust may also serve as the trustee, and they can change the terms of the trust at any time. A living trust can provide flexibility in managing your assets while ensuring that you will have the resources to meet your financial needs throughout your lifetime. By naming a successor trustee, you can ensure that the remaining assets in the trust are properly distributed to your beneficiaries after your death. These trusts will also allow your successor trustees to manage your financial assets in the trust’s name at a time that you are unable to do so.
- Irrevocable trusts – These types of trusts typically cannot be modified or terminated without the permission of the beneficiaries, and assets will no longer be in the control of the person who created the trust. This can ensure that assets are protected from creditors, and it can help avoid estate taxes and provide other tax planning advantages. Certain types of irrevocable trusts known as dynasty trusts may be used to distribute assets to multiple generations of beneficiaries.
- Testamentary trusts – In some cases, a person’s will may specify that a trust should be created to distribute a person’s assets to their beneficiaries. These can be revocable living trusts where no assets were put into that trust’s name until the death of the principal.
- Special types of trusts – These types of trusts include Qualified Terminable Interest Property (QTIP) trusts (used to care for a current spouse, where there are children from a previous relationship) or Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRTs), which are used when a person desires to make a gift of their residence after the principal continues to live there for a term of years or until death.
- Special needs trusts – If you have a family member or loved one who is disabled or has other special needs, you may want to provide them with financial help, but you will want to make sure they can receive public benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid. By creating a special needs trust or supplemental needs trust, you can ensure that the funds you provide to them are used for the proper purposes without affecting their eligibility for public aid.
- Charitable trusts – If you plan to donate your assets to a charitable organization, these types of trusts can ensure that your assets are distributed according to your desires both during your lifetime and after your death.
Contact Our DuPage County Living Trust Lawyers
If you want to determine the best ways to protect your assets, minimize taxes, and provide for your family’s needs, the Gierach Law Firm, LLC can help you address these concerns and create a comprehensive estate plan. We will explain your options and ensure that you take the right steps to establish trusts and utilize other estate planning tools. To set up a consultation, contact our Naperville office at 630-756-1160 or call us in Hoffman Estates office at 847-519-0505.