When it comes to figuring out how to best provide for family members after one’s death, Illinois residents have numerous choices. One of those choices is to use a revocable living trust. For many people, this type of trust helps simplify estate administration.
One of the reasons why many Illinois residents use this type of trust is because the assets in the trust do not need to go through probate. This allows surviving family members access to them right away instead of waiting until the estate is settled. During life, having a trust could avoid the need for a conservatorship or guardianship since a successor trustee can step in and handle matters for the creators of these trusts if they are unable to do so for themselves due to extenuating circumstances. Because the details of the trust do not become part of the public record, it also allows individuals to keep their estates private.
It takes more than just executing a trust to receive the benefits, however. In order to make a trust work as intended, it needs to be funded, which requires numerous extra steps. No matter how carefully crafted a trust is, if it remains unfunded, it does no good. The assets meant to be put into it still have to go through probate.
In order for revocable living trusts to provide all of the benefits individuals want from them, they need to be drafted, executed and funded properly. Most people find that enlisting the aid of an attorney with experience in estate planning could prove invaluable. Having some sense of security that everything is in order and prepared for estate administration often makes the process worth it.
Source: thebalance.com, “The Pros and Cons of Revocable Living Trusts“, Julie Garber, May 11, 2018