Many people believe that a trust is a trust is a trust. But that's not really so. There are differences in various trusts -- as an Illinois lawyer would be able to explain; however, a living trust may be just the ticket for some individuals to consider when they're doing their estate planning. A living trust is called living since its inception is during the life of the grantor. Such trusts can either be revocable or irrevocable and as the names imply, one can be changed, while the other can't be.
Living trusts can help to reduce estate taxes -- just one of the reasons for their popularity. They can also help parents to control how much money grown children get and offer protection for minor children. Payments of assets can be staggered or offered in a lump sum -- that's up to the grantor. Trusts also avoid the probate process if fed by a grantor's assets consistently over a lifetime.
Then there is the privacy aspect of trusts. Wills become public record, whereas the information contained in trusts remains private. When a trust is continually funded, it will provide the resources necessary to care for the grantor should he or she be unable to do so or when he or she can no longer make important decisions.
Talking to a lawyer may help Illinois residents to decide whether trusts are something they should consider in their estate planning. An attorney can explain both the benefits and pitfalls of various kinds of estates. Having the knowledge may make it easy for a client to decide what types of documents will round out his or her estate plan.