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Should you set up a living trust?

As 2019 nears its end and Illinois residents and others start planning for a new year, many people will decide it is time to execute their estate plans. The estate planning process can be simple or complex, depending on a particular estate owner's circumstances, needs and ultimate goals. Those who are trying to determine whether they should include a living trust in their portfolio will want to keep reading, as this post includes basic information that may be helpful.

The reason a living trust is referred to as such is because it is signed when the person setting up the trust is still alive. Once it is validly signed, it becomes legally enforceable. A person executing a trust must decide whether to sign a revocable or irrevocable document. The latter cannot be changed, but the former can.

A benefit of signing a living trust is that it typically reduces estate taxes. It is also a means for setting aside money for a minor until he or she reaches a specific age, which may be designated in the terms of the trust. Such terms may even stipulate that funds are to be made available in increments over a period of time.

living trust is also a means of keeping one's estate business private and avoiding probate. An Illinois estate law attorney can clarify state laws and answer questions regarding irrevocable and revocable trusts, as well as all other aspects of the estate planning process. An estate plan can be amended as needed (except in the case of an irrevocable document) which is why it's helpful to stay closely connected to an experienced attorney who can provide support to periodically review a plan and help keep it updated.

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