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What Is A Trust? Who Needs A Trust in Illinois?

When it comes to estate planning, many people are familiar with wills as a means of distributing assets after their passing. However, there is another important tool that can be used to achieve your estate planning goals: a trust. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at trusts in Illinois, how they work, why you might need one, and how to go about creating one. If you need help getting started or just want more information about trusts and estate planning, Zeidman & Carpenter PLLC is here to help. With their expertise in wills and estate planning, they can help you take care of your family and your future with tailored and personalized representation, litigation, and transactional services.

How Do Trusts Work in Illinois?

A trust is a legal arrangement in which a person, called the grantor, transfers assets to a trustee who manages those assets for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries. There are several types of trusts that can be created in Illinois, including revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts, and special needs trusts. Each type of trust has its own unique characteristics and requirements.

To create a trust in Illinois, the grantor must have the capacity to create a trust and must indicate an intent to create the trust. The trust must also have a definite beneficiary or beneficiaries, and the trustee must have duties to perform with respect to the trust property. Additionally, the trust must have some lawful purpose.

The grantor, trustee, and beneficiaries all play important roles in a trust. The grantor creates the trust and transfers assets to the trustee. The trustee manages those assets and distributes them to the beneficiaries according to the terms of the trust. The beneficiaries are the individuals or entities that receive the benefits of the trust.

What Is A Trust?

Why Do I Need A Trust in Illinois?

There are many reasons why you might want to consider creating a trust in Illinois. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Asset protection: A trust can protect your assets from creditors or lawsuits.
  • Avoiding probate: Assets held in a trust can pass to your beneficiaries without going through the probate process, which can be time-consuming and expensive.
  • Tax planning: Certain types of trusts can help you minimize taxes on your estate or on assets you transfer during your lifetime.

What Is The Purpose Of Having A Trust?

The purpose of having a trust is to ensure that your assets are managed and distributed according to your wishes. A trust can provide greater flexibility and control over how your assets are distributed than a will. It can also provide asset protection, avoid probate, and minimize taxes.

Does A Trust Have To Be Filed With The Court in Illinois?

Generally, a trust does not have to be filed with the court in Illinois. 

Revocable trusts, which are the most common type of trust, do not have to be filed with the court. However, irrevocable trusts may need to be filed if they have beneficiaries who are minors or if they are created as part of a court proceeding.

Does A Trust Have To Be Filed With The Court in Illinois?

How Do I Transfer My Property Into A Trust in Illinois?

To transfer your property into a trust in Illinois, you must execute a deed, if transferring property, or complete a form with your financial institution to add the trust onto accounts. 

It’s important to ensure that the transfer of property to the trust is properly documented and that any necessary legal formalities are observed. Otherwise, the transfer may be ineffective, and the assets may not be distributed according to your wishes.

VII. Who Is Entitled To A Copy Of A Trust In Illinois?

If you are a beneficiary or have an interest in a trust, you are entitled to a copy of the trust instrument and other relevant documents, such as financial statements or tax returns. You may also have the right to request an accounting of the trust’s activities.

The trustee must also keep the trust’s assets separate from their own assets and act in the best interests of the beneficiaries.

How To Request A Copy Of A Trust

To request a copy of a trust or other relevant documents, you should contact the trustee or their attorney. The trustee or attorney can provide you with the necessary forms and instructions for making a request. If the trustee or attorney does not provide you with the requested documents, you may need to seek legal assistance to enforce your rights.

What is a living Trust?

VIII. What Is A Living Trust?

A living trust, also known as a revocable trust, is a type of trust that is created during the grantor’s lifetime and can be changed or revoked at any time. The grantor retains control over the trust and its assets during their lifetime, and the trust becomes irrevocable after their death. Living trusts are commonly used for estate planning purposes and can help avoid probate and minimize taxes.

Differences Between A Living Trust And Other Types Of Trusts

Compared to other types of trusts, such as irrevocable trusts or special needs trusts, living trusts offer greater flexibility and control over the trust’s assets. Because the grantor retains control over the trust during their lifetime, they can change or revoke the trust as their circumstances change. Living trusts also do not require court approval, which can help avoid delays and expenses.

Trust Lawyers


In conclusion, trusts are an important tool for estate planning in Illinois. Whether you want to protect your assets, avoid probate, or minimize taxes, a trust can help you achieve your goals. If you are considering creating a trust, it is important to consult with an experienced trust attorney or lawyer. They can help you understand your options, draft the necessary documents, and ensure that your wishes are carried out.

If you are looking for a trust attorney or lawyer near you in Chicago, Zeidman & Carpenter PLLC can help. They provide exceptional representation, litigation, and transactional services tailored to each client’s needs. Contact them today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards securing your family’s future.