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Should I Use a Will and a Trust?

 Posted on August 23, 2023 in Family Law Blog

Wheaton Estate Planning LawyerWhen you are gone, you want to ensure that your assets are distributed based on your wishes. Wills and trusts work as crucial estate planning documents for this. While both have the same goal, they differ in many ways. Illinois residents should be aware of these distinctions while making estate planning decisions.

How Are Wills and Trusts Used in Illinois?

A will details the distribution of your property based on your wishes after you pass away. These legal documents also can appoint an executor. An executor controls how your assets are distributed and ensures your intentions are carried out. Some wills also specify guardianship if children are in the picture.

It requires a signature, witnesses, and the proper legal process. The will also must be filed with the probate court. Once the will is stated, it is publicly available for execution and resolving disputes in the future.

A trust allows you to transfer your assets to a trustee. One can also establish a living trust while the grantor is still alive. The trustee manages the trust's assets while following the conditions of the agreement.

Is It Better to Have a Will or a Trust in Illinois?

Your unique circumstances and needs will determine whether you should use a will, trust, or both. A trust typically provides more flexibility and is ideal for those with complex estates or high-value assets. A will may be more appropriate for simpler estates. Here are a few factors to take into account during estate planning:

  • type and value assets

  • age and capacity of heirs

  • the complexity of estates

  • financial considerations with taxes

What Are the Advantages of a Trust and a Will?

One of the most obvious advantages of a trust is the opportunity to avoid probate court. Probate court is often associated with higher costs and making the process longer. Furthermore, a trust also provides more privacy than a will. You have a choice between revocable and irrevocable trusts. A revocable trust can be changed during the guarantor’s lifetime, while an irrevocable trust is more difficult to change.

Wills are generally inexpensive and easier to establish in comparison to trusts. For those with simple estates, a will is usually the quicker and more straightforward option between the two. Not to mention that it is easier to revise.

Contact Our Lombard Estate Planning Attorneys

When starting estate planning, you must understand the differences between wills and trusts. Speaking with an experienced estate planning lawyer ensures you select the best strategy for your estate needs. At A. Traub & Associates, we are committed to helping you decide the best outcome for your wishes and financial circumstances. Contact one of our Wheaton, IL, estate planning attorneys at 630-426-0196 to schedule your initial consultation.

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