Many Illinois residents conclude that they need a trust to properly execute their plans for their surviving family members upon their deaths. A trust can simplify the estate administration process if everything goes according to plan. However, if an individual fails to take one crucial step — funding the trust — those plans could fail.
A trust document is only paper if an individual fails to transfer assets into it. A trust becomes the legal owner of some assets and the beneficiary of others. Which assets fall into a particular category depends on their type. Homes, cars and other tangible property require a transfer of title into the name of the trust, but retirement accounts and life insurance policies can list the trust as a beneficiary of the proceeds.
Other assets can also be put into the trust in order to keep them from going through probate. That is not the only benefit of doing so, however. The assets in the trust are distributed in accordance with the provisions contained in it. For instance, assets meant for a child could be held in the trust until he or she reaches a certain age or completes a certain task such as graduating from college.
Funding a trust often requires the completion of numerous legal steps. If not done correctly, the plan for a smooth estate administration process could fall apart. In order to help ensure that everything is done in accordance with applicable Illinois law, an individual should take the time to gain a full understanding of the steps required to complete this important task. For those who need it, help is available.