Before we can discuss what trust litigation is defined as, we should first start with the definition of a trust. A trust is a legal creation with the purpose to keep assets for beneficiaries. The trust is controlled by a trustee, who is selected by the creator of the trust, known as the grantor. There are many different types of trusts but the two most common trusts are revocable trusts and irrevocable trusts.
At Bott & Associates, Ltd., we have helped countless families create trusts and manage them upon their loved one’s death. It’s our goal to make sure that all of our clients feel comfortable knowing what will happen when they create a trust.
Revocable Trusts vs. Irrevocable Trusts
A revocable trust is a living trust in which the grantor controls the trust and the assets in the trust for their lifetime. An irrevocable trust is a living trust in which the grantor places assets and property into the trust but gives up full control of those assets. In a revocable trust, the trustee is now responsible for managing those assets for however long the trust was created to last.
Avoiding Probate with a Living Trust
Did you know that with the help of a trust administration lawyer Palatine, IL has to offer, your estate can avoid the probate process? Bott & Associates, Ltd. assists families and individuals with their estate planning needs. As a trust administration lawyer Palatine, IL families respect, we have the experience necessary to ensure that our clients’ best interests are protected. With our deep knowledge about applicable tax laws, we can create a robust estate plan that reflects your goals for your legacy and leverages tax advantages for your heirs. We welcome you to contact our office and meet with a trust administration lawyer in Palatine, IL at no charge to learn more about how we might assist you.
The Probate Process
Probate is a legal process that many estates must pass through before the heirs can inherit the assets of the estate. The probate process requires a detailed inventory of an estate’s assets and payment of the deceased’s taxes and debts before the remaining assets can be distributed to the heirs.
For some estates, probate is not an issue. For others, it is a lengthy and costly process which is a double hit for heirs—they may receive fewer assets and must wait longer to receive them. The good news is that with the help of an experienced trust administration lawyer Palatine, IL residents respect, you can create an estate plan that leverages the advantages of a living trust to avoid probate, probate costs, and probate lawyer fees.
Creating a living trust with the help of our firm will allow your estate’s assets to avoid the probate process. It will also allow your beneficiaries to receive their inheritance much faster and without having to go through the rigors of the probate process. If you are married, you and your spouse can create one shared living trust which can handle separate, as well as, co-owned or joint property.
Creating a Living Trust
When a trust administration lawyer Palatine, IL recommends, sits down with you, the trust created is similar to a will, but comes with different rules and regulations. Very likely you will name yourself as the trustee, the person that will manage the trust and its assets. If you and your spouse decide to create a shared trust, you will both be co-trustees.
After creating the trust, a Palatine, IL trust administration lawyer will assist you in transferring ownership of your assets to the trust. Depending on your circumstances, this may include your home, vehicles (if you own them outright), expensive jewelry and art, cash, and any other valuable assets. Though you are transferring your assets to the trust, if you are the trustee then you will still maintain control of them. Depending on the type of living trust that you create with your trust administration lawyer, you may also be able to sell some or all of the assets, purchase additional assets, and transfer them into the trust as well. You may also be able to revoke the trust at any time.
A skilled trust administration lawyer Palatine, IL provides to you can help you to understand your trust options and other estate planning choices. Please call Bott & Associates, Ltd.
Why Should I Create a Trust?
Trusts are extremely useful when it comes to estate planning. Items that are placed in a trust avoid probate. Probate can be extremely lengthy and expensive. By placing items in a revocable or irrevocable trust, a trust administration lawyer can avoid the probate process. In addition to the time and money probate can cause, probate litigation is unfortunately very common in Palatine, IL. Some of the most common types of probate litigation are caused by beneficiaries who believe they should have been in the trust but were not included. This can occur if a trust was amended and beneficiaries were taken off the trust while others were added, and family disputes arise.
Common Trust Litigation
An example of trust litigation would be if a father has two daughters. He created a trust and both daughters were equal beneficiaries of the trust. Ten years after he created this trust, he remarries. The father suffers from dementia and his new wife takes him to an attorney. The new wife tells her husband to create an amendment to the trust to remove his biological daughters from the trust as beneficiaries and to add her and her biological children as beneficiaries instead.
Unfortunately, this kind of trust litigation situation can be quite common. In this instance, the biological daughters could file a claim against the trustee to have that amend put aside for a few different reasons: the father was not in the right state of mind to create an amendment; his new wife was pressuring him to create the amendment; and it could be interference with a testamentary expectancy.
Another common reason for trust litigation is due to accounting. Trustees are required to provide the beneficiaries with an annual accounting. It is a required document that explains to the beneficiaries what happened to all of the assets within the past year. If this is not provided to the beneficiary, or if it is incomplete, it would be considered a breach of fiduciary duty. If this is a regular occurrence, or if it is clear the trustee has been acting without considering the best interest of the beneficiaries, the trustee could be removed.
Contact Bott & Associates, Ltd.
Trusts can be very complex, so if you’re considering writing one, it’s recommended that you meet with a trust administration lawyer for assistance. At Bott & Associates, Ltd., we’re here to help. Call us today to schedule a consultation with a trust administration lawyer Palatine, IL families know and trust.