Living Trust, also known as an “Intervivos Trust” or “Revocable Trust.” A Living Trust is an estate plan that manages your assets during your lifetime and efficiently passes your estate to your chosen beneficiaries after your death.
“Our experience with Tom Tuohy was five stars, from the moment that we walked into his office and meeting his staff and then talking to Tom it felt like we were with friends. My wife and I have been wanting to get our estate planning done for many years, and we were happy that we found Tuohy Law to have it completed finally. Thank You. ” –George Zaccagnini
Why Do You Need a Living Trust?
To control and protect your estate, now and after your death. By law, no one can sign your name. Therefore if you acquire a disability, your name can only be signed with the use of a previously executed Financial Power of Attorney. Consequently, your name can only be signed by an Executor who Probate Court authorizes after your death. Your Financial Power of Attorney is revoked by operation of law at your death. Accordingly, if you have assets in your name after your death, such as title to real estate or financial institution accounts, a Probate Estate must be opened so that a judge can name an Executor to administer your estate. A Last Will and Testament does not avoid Probate. Therefore, a Will must be filed in Probate and is simply your wish for an Executor and for who receives your property after your death.
What is Probate?
Probate is a division of the court system that handles the estates of every person who is either unable to handle their affairs because of a physical or mental disability, or who has died. Ideally, Probate protects the value of your assets. However, this is not always the case.
What is wrong with Probate?
Probate is costly, it takes a long time, and because of the number of cases in the system, it is inefficient and burdens families. Consequently, the Probate system cannot handle the estates of every person.
If you have not made other provisions and you acquire a disability, your assets will be subject to the control of the Probate court. As a result, your family must care for you under the direction of the court system.
If you die with assets in your name, and the total collective value of your assets exceeds $100,000, your entire estate is subject to the Probate process.
Probate requires a minimum six-month claims period. Consequently, the entire court process can take an average of 18 months or more to complete.
How can a Living Trust avoid Probate?
A properly drafted, signed, and fully funded Living Trust avoids Probate by removing assets from your name and titling them in your private Living Trust.
The administration of your Trust is private and efficient and done Successor Trustee you choose. Importantly, most often your Trustee is one of your family members or trusted friend, who can also be a beneficiary of the Living Trust. You title all your assets, except vehicles, recreational vehicles, watercraft, aircraft, and specific business interests, to the name of your Living Trust.
Notably, the process could take only a matter of weeks or as long as it takes to transfer your assets to your beneficiaries.
What legal documents are in a Living Trust?
A complete Living Trust estate plan should include a Trust, a Last Will and Testament (often referred to as a Pour-Over Will, that acts as a safety net for any assets not titled in your name at your death), a Financial Power of Attorney, and a Health Care Power of Attorney.
What are the other advantages of a Living Trust?
Some of the many advantages of a Living Trust estate plan:
- Avoids Probate
- Protects you in the event of your disability
- Organize lifetime management of your assets
- Contains specific instructions for inheritance
- Protects the wishes of the first spouse to die
- Avoids the perils of joint tenancy
- Protects against loss of benefits or government reimbursement if a beneficiary acquires a disability before your death.
- Includes assets in all states and avoids multiple state probate
- It contains a No-Contest clause
- Provides creditor protection for beneficiaries
- Is revocable
- Amended easily
- It is readily be adapted to the laws of another state in the event you move
How can you obtain a Living Trust?
If you live in Illinois, you should consult with an experienced Chicago Living Trust lawyer.
Tom Tuohy has prepared over 4,000 Living Trust estate plans for his clients in his career. All consultations are free. Further, you can download the planning forms below and a detailed brochure. In addition, your signing will be at our convenient Oakbrook Terrace office with free parking. You can also choose to sign electronically via Zoom teleconference. Before or after your appointment, you can dine in one of the many area restaurants or shop in Oakbrook Mall.
Nearly every client who has completed their Living Trust estate plan expresses a sense of relief that they finally took care of this important family protection. It is common to think about this for years. Let’s do it now.
“Oh my GOD, I just left Tuohy Law Offices. I feel so good about the LIVING TRUST I just open for my son. I think everyone who has underage children should have a Living Trust. Call Tom Tuohy today and have the stress lifted off your shoulders because you’ve done the right thing for your child. Don’t procrastinate! Do it today. I did.” – Marilyn Montgomery
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