By Rick Law – Senior Estate Planner & Elder Law attorney serving seniors and boomers in the western suburbs of Chicagoland.
Some trusts are “revocable,” and that sounds non-threatening.
Some trusts are “irrevocable,” and that sounds scary.
But even within those two basic categories, there can be many types of trusts that serve different purposes and help clients achieve certain goals.
Let’s look at the “players.”
• First, you have the trustmaker, sometimes called the “grantor.” The trustmaker is one of the individuals who will sign the trust. You can have more than one trustmaker.
• Next, there is the trustee. The trustee is the “manager” of the trust. The trustmaker can also be the trustee. You can have more than one trustee – who would be“co-trustees.” If a trustee can no longer serve, the trustmaker can appoint people to step up into that role. They are called “successor trustees,” and you can name several in the order you wish them to substitute when there is a vacancy. The trust contains a list of all of the powers that the trustee has with regard to the trust. The trustee has a fiduciary duty to carry out the trustmaker’s instructions. The initial trustee will also sign the trust.
• Finally, you have the beneficiary or beneficiaries. This will be the person, persons, charity or organization that will get the trustmaker’s stuff.
One thing to remember about a trust is that it holds assets during the life of the trustmaker and not just at death, like a will. The trustee will be managing assets owned by the trust while the trustmaker is alive and healthy, or disabled, or deceased. That’s one of the ways that a trust is different from a will – a trust is not just death planning; it is also life planning.
In our office we have a large variety of trusts because we have clients with a large variety of needs and circumstances. We don’t call our trusts simply “revocable trusts” or “irrevocable trusts.” Those two terms lack the specificity that is needed to identify a trust. We try to be explicit with the names so they describe the purpose and goal of each trust. Trusts are complicated in nature and can be designed to meet very precise needs. We want clients to get “trusts they can trust.”
If you’re ready to start getting your estate in order and secure your assets for the “worst-case” scenario, please give our office a call at 630-585-5200 or 800-310-3100. Your first consultation is absolutely free. We’ll let you know what steps you need to take, right now, to protect yourself and your family. Call now.
Rick L. Law, Attorney, Estate Planner for Retirees.
Rick was named the #1 Illinois elder law estate planning attorney by Leading Lawyer Magazine. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, AARP Magazine, TheStreet.com, and numerous newspapers and articles. Rick is the lead attorney for Law Elder Law, LLP, focusing in Estate Planning, Guardianship, and Nursing Home Solutions. His goal is to give retirees an informed edge when it comes to dealing with an uncertain future. Get flexible retirement strategies that work during good times and bad, plus information on how you can save your home and assets from being used to pay for long term care. Call 630-585-5200 or 800-310-3100 for your free consultation now!