Types of trusts for estate planning

When an Illinois resident passes away, his or her family members will need to go through probate. This process can take as little as a few months or up to several years. Individuals who plan their estates early on can establish who gets all their belongings and any of the property they leave behind. This can include life insurance, property, homes, vehicles and valuable artwork and jewelry.

Establishing and filing a will is important because it designates who will get each type of property. Many people find it helpful to set up trusts too. Some of the different types of trusts can include medical and charitable trusts. A charitable trust provides an organization with a set amount of money in the name of the deceased person, which can be used in specific ways.

There are also trusts that allow an individual to place some or all their assets into a fund that provides money to one or more people in the future. Prior to setting up a trust, an individual should consider whether a trust is the best choice or if he or she should simply write and file a will.

In all but a few cases, the executor of the will is responsible for ensuring that each person listed in the documents receives his or her share. Attorneys often recommend that their clients give a small sum of money to family members as a way to stop them from contesting the will at a later date. Wills and trusts must be filed by an attorney for a client who is of sound mind and body. Attorneys with experience in estate planning can go over some of the different types of trusts. They will also provide assistance to those choosing between a will or a trust and those who want to use both.

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