Deciding the best way to divide up your estate after your death is not always a straightforward task, and there are a number of different estate planning tools that should be considered to make the process easier and more cost-effective. To this end, you may consider placing a portion of your estate into a trust to help minimize estate taxes and to avoid an often lengthy probate process. This will allow your family to avoid additional expenses and ongoing uncertainty in an already emotionally difficult time.
At Michna & Khanice, Attorneys at Law, our experienced Chicago trust attorneys have been helping families through the process of drawing up the documentation and establishing trusts for close to 40 years. We make this complex process as simple and easy as possible, allowing our clients to access a financial structure that is a more cost-effective way to distribute property, income, and other assets after their death.
The Different Types of Trusts
Understanding Your Options
For all trusts, there is the person who creates the trust (a grantor), the person who carries out the terms of the trust (a trustee), and the people who receive any property from the trust (the beneficiaries). The main types of trusts are:
With a living trust, the role of grantor, trustee, and beneficiary are initially fulfilled by the same person, and the trust remains in effect during their lifetime. You can provide for yourself in later years as well as specifying the steps to take should you become mentally or physically incapacitated, and how the estate should be administered following your death.
Irrevocable trusts make permanent decisions about the distribution of assets ensuring that they are safeguarded from family members if necessary.
These trusts provide for minors either while you are still alive, or after your passing. The terms are flexible and can go into effect on your death or when children reach a specified age and can be used to cover a range of expenses such as education and health care.
Special Needs Trusts
This is a third-party trust that provides financial assistance to adults or children with disabilities but does not cause them to lose eligibility for any public benefits.
Establishing a trust offers a number of benefits that include:
- Allowance for property to be distributed directly to your beneficences following your death, avoiding the probate process.
- Complete privacy unlike wills which, once they have been filed with the court, become publicly available.
- Flexibility for estate management and, if the trust is revocable, the terms can be amended at any point while you are alive.
- Comprehensive disability planning in the care of a living trust which designates someone to take over trust maintenance should you become incapacitated.
Establishing Financial Security You and Your Beneficiaries
At Michna & Khanice, Attorneys at Law, we offer estate planning services that include trust setup and administration for your peace of mind and to ensure the financial security of your beneficiaries. We will walk through your legal requirements and are available as representatives for probate matters. To get started, please set up an appointment by giving us a call or filling in the form below.