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Illinois Living Trust Form – Irrevocable & Revocable

An Illinois living trust is a document that allows the recipient(s) of a deceased individual’s assets to avoid the court-supervised probate process implemented after a person dies. The initial creator of the Trust, referred to as the “Grantor,” will transfer property and assets to the trust and outline specific instructions for what shall be done with said property and assets when they die. If the Grantor decides to create an Irrevocable Trust, they are effectively relinquished of all control over their assets and, as a result, are protected from any tax that may have been generated from their properties. The Grantor may also choose to create a Revocable Trust which has no tax advantages but allows the Grantor (through the appointment of a Trustee) to control their assets.

Laws760 ILCS 5/ (Trusts and Trustees Act)

Will (Last Will and Testament) – Having a Will in place enables you to specify additional provisions, such as naming guardians for children or methods of debt payment. Unlike a trust, a Will must go through the probate process.

Types

Irrevocable – Once the Grantor has officially established the trust, he/she will not be able to make any alterations to its provisions. This trust grants tax advantages and protects the Grantor from creditors.

Revocable – Can be modified by the Grantor if he/she deems it necessary. With a Revocable Trust, the Grantor may also act as Trustee and manage their properties during their lifetime.

Individual Roles

A Living Trust operates with four (4) major roles:

Grantor (or “Settlor”) – The initial creator of the trust. The Grantor transfers their assets to the trust and creates the provisions by which their assets shall be distributed when they die.

Trustee – Responsible for managing the trust and ensuring that the Grantor’s real estate and property is cared for. If the trust is Revocable, the Grantor may also act as Trustee and benefit from any income generated by his/her assets.

Successor Trustee – The Successor Trustee will be required to execute the trust in the event that the initial Trustee dies or becomes incapacitated.

Beneficiaries – Recipient(s) of the assets placed in the trust.

How to Make a Living Trust in Illinois

As stated in the Illinois Trust and Trustees Act, Ch. 17, par. 1653, the individual establishing the trust must clearly outline the responsibilities, rights, powers, immunities, and limitations of the Trustee. Furthermore, the form should mention the Successor Trustee and name the Beneficiaries along with the provisions associated with the distribution of their appointed assets. These specifications may be instituted by downloading the preferred trust type (Revocable or Irrevocable) and signing it with respect to the State Statues. A notary public’s acknowledgment might be required, depending on what type of asset will be transferred into the Trust.

Motor Vehicles – It is necessary to fill out an Illinois Bill of Sale before transferring ownership of a vehicle to a trust.

Real Estate – An Illinois Deed must be filed in the Recorder’s Office in the county where you are located (County Search)

Websites – All ownership information on file with ICANN / WHOIS must be modified to reflect the trust. This can be done by contacting your registrar and notifying them of the change.

Do I Need a Living Trust?

If you are seeking to avoid the probate process and do not have more than $100,000 in net worth, the Heirs may be able to fill in a Small Estate Affidavit after your death, thus eliminating the need for a living trust. This form is signed by all your descendants and submitted to the Circuit County Clerk’s Office where the decedent’s probate is being handled. The only negative to a Small Estate Affidavit is that the assets will be spread evenly to all considered Heirs. If the individual has more than $100,000 in net worth and would like to designate their assets to specific individuals while avoiding the probate process, a trust must be created.

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