A will establishes how your personal and real property will be distributed upon death. Additionally, a will can allow parents to appoint guardians for minor children.
A trust is a legal agreement in which the owner of the trust provides instructions for the use of the assets owned by the trust and who may manage those assets. A trust is different than a will and may have advantages that suit your needs. A trust allows your beneficiaries to avoid the probate process that is required for property distribution under a will, but still allows you the ability to decide who should receive your property and when it should be distributed.
A living trust allows you or your beneficiaries to receive income during your lifetime. The main purpose of a living trust is probate avoidance. Probate in Illinois can be an expensive and lengthy process, potentially lasting several years and creating a trust could equate to immediate distribution. A will is publicly filed with the probate court, but a trust remains private. Additionally, distribution under a trust can be delayed to allow minor children or spendthrift adult children to reach a certain age or milestone, like college graduation or marriage.
Another advantage of using a trust over a will is the ability for disability planning that is unavailable with a will, given a will becomes effective only upon death. A trust can provide for a successor trustee to take over in the event the grantor becomes unable to manage their affairs due to illness or incompetency without the need for court intervention. Further, trusts can provide many opportunities for tax savings and asset protection for the grantor and their beneficiaries.
Victoria is committed to understanding your family's individual asset distribution and protection goals. She will work with you work to develop an estate plan that suits your needs.
Power of Attorney
A power of attorney allows the principal to appoint an agent for healthcare and financial decision-making. The power of attorney assures the principal that in the event they become disabled, everything will still be taken care of by the appointed agent. The Illinois Power of Attorney Act contains a statutory power of attorney form that can be used in some circumstances; however; it is not appropriate for everyone and an attorney should be consulted to determine whether a non-statutory form is more fitting.