While trusts are a valuable tool for estate planners in Illinois, they are often misunderstood. Proper knowledge is crucial in this case, as mistakes while creating a trust can lead to issues down the line, which your family will bear the brunt of. The Balance offers the following advice to ensure your estate plan is valid.
Trusts are not always complex
Trusts are not as complex as they seem. They're also not only for the extremely wealthy, which is another myth that seems to persist. Trusts are great for protecting the details of your estate from public view, while also potentially avoiding probate. However, probate avoidance is not always a given. For instance, if your trust is not properly funded your estate may still be subject to probate.
Trusts do not automatically protect you from lawsuits
If you have a large amount of debt and creditors are taking actions against you, a trust will be of little help. While the trust will be the technical owner, creditors are still permitted to pursue you after your trust has been funded. An asset protection plan may be of help in this case, and this should be created with the assistance of a knowledgeable lawyer.
Trusts must still be managed after the creator dies
While in most cases trusts can avoid probate, there is still work to be done after the creator dies. The Successor Trustee must still deal with any issues involving your estate, including paying taxes and ensuring lingering debts are settled. This highlights the importance of choosing the right trustee, who will have the ability to deal with issues using discretion and common sense.