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What if the person named in my trust enters the military?

Once you have put your assets into trust and assigned a trustee among your children, the expectation is that your trustee will be able to successfully handle succession of business affairs. Yet if your trustee is called away to active military service or chooses to enlist in the military, what happens to the trust you set up if you are not alive to administer changes to the trust and appointment of a new trustee?

In this case, the Trustees’ Emergency Act takes effect. Illinois legislature explains that the Trustees’ Emergency Act allows any trustee or co-trustee in active war service may file to appoint a successor trustee to manage the trust and its execution during the wartime absence of the primary trustee due to overseas service, internment or other affairs. This means essentially appointing a legally recognized successor to handle the trust during the period of active war service, with the understanding that the successor trustee will attempt to execute the trust according with any wishes and expectations laid out within the trust.

Once your trustee returns from war service, they may petition the court to have their position as trustee reinstated and the temporary trustee removed. Although this is meant to be a temporary measure to ensure the trust is properly safeguarded, nonetheless it does not automatically revert once your trustee is relieved from war service.

This blog post has been for informational purposes only, and does not constitute actionable legal advice or a substitute for the counsel of a qualified legal professional.