A Living Trust in Illinois is an arrangement created by a Trust document where one person (a Trustee) holds legal title to property on behalf of another person (a beneficiary). When a Living Trust is initially set up, the person making the Trust (the Grantor) is usually the initial Trustee, retaining full control over all the Trust property (the Trust res). Also, it is called a “Living” Trust because it is a Trust that you create while you are still alive.
In estate planning in Illinois, Living Trusts are oftentimes used as the central piece of the individual estate plan. Because Living Trusts will generally avoid the Probate Court system in Illinois, many individuals seek to include a Living Trust in their own estate plans.
What is a Pour-Over Will in Illinois?
A Pour-Over Will in Illinois is a Will that is used in conjunction with a Living Trust to distribute your property upon death. The Pour-Over Will literally “pours over” into your Living Trust all remaining property that didn’t make it into your Living Trust while you were alive.
While many people obtain an expensive Living Trust with the thinking that “Living Trusts always avoid probate”, they are often surprised to find out that a probate court proceeding could still be needed to address certain property that doesn’t make it into their Living Trust before death. Thus, many times individuals buy an expensive “Living Trust plan” prior to death, and then the Executors of their estates have to open an expensive probate estate anyway after death because the Trust was not properly funded during life. With this in mind, it can oftentimes be more beneficial to simply have a basic, inexpensive Will to address your estate planning needs and desires.
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