DuPage County, IL estate planning lawyerOne of the most popular estate planning tools that are available is a trust. There are a number of different types of trusts that can be utilized, depending on what your needs are. Many of the clients who meet with our Illinois estate planning attorneys are often surprised at the number of assets that can be protected by placing them in a trust. The following touches on some of the benefits a trust offers. Contact our office for more detailed information.

What Is a Trust?

A trust is a legal instrument that protects assets from various risks that could ultimately lead to some sort of loss of those assets. Some of the more common risks include:

  • Divorce


Cook County Pour-Over Will LawyerThere are many estate planning tools available that will ensure your family is protected when you are no longer here. One of those tools is called a pour-over will. A pour-over will is a type of will that works in alliance with a revocable trust (also referred to as a living trust). The purpose of a pour-over will is to make sure that any assets that the decedent did not get the opportunity to place in the trust before they die are transferred into the trust upon their death.

Integration with a Revocable Trust

A pour-over will is designed to work alongside a revocable trust, which is a legal entity created during a person's lifetime to hold and manage their assets. The assets are placed in the trust, with the contents passing to the named beneficiaries when the person dies. The pour-over will acts as a safety net, ensuring that any assets not transferred to the trust before death are still included.

A pour-over will typically includes provisions that direct the distribution of assets not already placed in the trust. These assets are referred to as the residual estate and may consist of property or other assets that were inadvertently left out of the trust.


Cook County Trusts LawyerThere are multiple estate planning tools available that can help ensure your family is protected when you are no longer here. One of the most common instruments used is trusts. Trusts allow individuals to transfer assets to their beneficiaries while avoiding probate and minimizing tax liabilities. There are several different types of trusts available, each with its own unique benefits and limitations. The following is a brief overview. For more detailed information, call our office to speak with a seasoned estate planning attorney.

Revocable Trust

A revocable trust, also known as a living trust, is a trust that can be amended or revoked during the lifetime of the grantor. This type of trust allows the grantor to maintain control over their assets while alive. Upon the death of the grantor, the assets are then turned over to the beneficiary of the trust, avoiding the probate process for those assets.

Irrevocable Trust

An irrevocable trust is a trust that cannot be changed or terminated once it has been established. This type of trust is often used to transfer assets to beneficiaries while minimizing tax liabilities since assets held in an irrevocable trust are typically not subject to estate taxes.


DuPage County Estate Planning LawyerFor many people, estate planning and incapacitation planning are responsibilities that get put off as long as possible. Understandably, most people do not want to face their own mortality and plan for incapacitation or death. However, these responsibilities are extremely important and should not be procrastinated. A severe injury or illness can occur at any time to anyone.

Advance directives are legal documents that allow you to make decisions about how your medical and financial decision making will be handled if you cannot make the decisions yourself.

Types of Advance Directives

Advance directives allow you to remain in control of your personal affairs even if you are incapacitated by a medical condition. Using these documents, you will make decisions in advance so that there is no question as to what your wishes are, in the event that you cannot express the wishes yourself. Some of the most common advanced directives include:


cook county estate planning lawyerMany people put off conversations about estate planning for years, and understandably so. Conversations about end-of-life care, inheritance, and other sensitive topics around estate planning can be uncomfortable and sad for parents and children. Furthermore, many parents assume that if they do not write a will, their children will automatically inherit anything they have. If the family home is the single or most valuable possession they will pass on, they may assume the children will inherit it equally. 

Unfortunately, this is not always true. Although making an estate plan can bring up unpleasant thoughts and feelings, putting it off or not doing it at all is a mistake for the parents and the children. If distributing your property after you pass away is important to you, it is essential to create an estate plan reflecting your wishes. 

What Happens to a Home If There is No Will? 

If one partner in a married couple passes away and there is no will, what happens next will depend on whether the deceased partner has any living descendants. If there are no children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren, the surviving spouse inherits the full property of the deceased spouse. If there are living descendants and no will, the surviving spouse receives half of the deceased spouse’s inheritance, and the first line of living descendants (usually the deceased spouse’s children) will divide the other share. If there is only one parent alive and that parent passes away, the children inherit everything. 

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