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Do I Need a Living Trust in My Estate Plan?

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A comprehensive estate plan should consist of a variation of legal documents that will successfully protect your interests and your loved ones when you pass away. A common legal document that many individuals include in their estate plan is a living trust.

What Is a Living Trust?

A trust is an arrangement under which one person, called a trustee, holds legal title to the property for another person, called a beneficiary. A “living trust” is simply a trust you create while you are alive rather than one that is created after your death with the use of your will.

For example, you can create a living trust by having your spouse (the trustee) hold the legal title of your house for your child (the beneficiary). In this scenario, your child will automatically receive ownership of the house when you pass away.

What Are the Benefits of a Living Trust?

The main advantage of making a living trust is that it can spare your family the expense and delay of probate court proceedings after your death. Illinois does have a complex probate process that could cost them a great portion of the assets you want to leave behind.

However, Illinois does have a simplified probate process for families with estates under $100,000 (excluding real estate). Therefore, if your net worth is under $100k, the probate process might be more straightforward and relatively inexpensive.

The best way to determine if you should have a living trust is by seeking legal guidance from an estate planning attorney. Every family’s situation is different, so even if your net worth is less than $100k, other complications could be avoided with a living trust.

Get in touch with our Rockford estate planning attorneys today at (815) 987-4050 to schedule a consultation! We can help you determine if your situation would benefit from a living trust.

The blog published by Reno & Zahm LLP is available for informational purposes only and is not considered legal advice on any subject matter. By viewing blog posts, the reader understands there is no attorney-client relationship between the reader and the blog publisher. The blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney, and readers are urged to consult legal counsel on any specific legal questions concerning a specific situation.