Northbrook Trusts and Wills Attorneys

Drafting Trusts for Clients throughout Chicago’s North Shore

A trust can be a useful legal tool within a comprehensive estate plan.  There are several types of trusts, but all trusts consist of a grantor, trustee, and beneficiary (or beneficiaries).  At The Wochner Law Firm, our knowledgeable Northbrook trusts attorneys are well-versed in the various types of trusts that can be used to achieve specific objectives, such as business succession, tax savings, and asset preservation.  Contact our office at (847) 272-7360 to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Chicago-area estate planning attorneys to learn more about various trust options.

What is a trust?

A trust is a legally binding agreement between the grantor, who owns the assets and transfers them to the trust; the trustee, who is chosen by the grantor to administer and oversee the trust and property distribution; and the trust beneficiaries, who receive property and assets from the trust according to the terms of the trust agreement.

What are the advantages of executing a trust?

Unlike a will, which must be filed with the court and is publicly available after someone’s death, a trust remains private.  Accordingly, trust grantors can maintain their privacy and the privacy of their beneficiaries with respect to their trust assets.  Moreover, property transferred to a trust is not subject to probate. Accordingly, the trustee, upon the grantor’s death, can immediately begin to execute the terms of the trust and transfer assets according to the grantor’s wishes.

What is the difference between a revocable and an irrevocable trust?

A revocable trust is a trust that can be amended during the life of the grantor.  Assets in a revocable trust may be subject to estate tax at death.  Conversely, an irrevocable trust cannot be altered once created, but the assets are typically not subject to estate tax.

What are some other types of trusts?

A living trust is a revocable trust that can be altered by the grantor during his or her lifetime and, as such, remains part of the grantor’s taxable estate.  The grantor usually acts as the trustee and receives income from the trust during his/her lifetime.  Upon death, the trust’s assets can either remain in the trust for the benefit of the trust beneficiaries or be distributed according to the terms of the trust (or a combination of the two options).

A dynasty trust (or generation-skipping trust) is a trust in which property remains in trust for the benefit of successive generations.  A trustee holds the assets and pays income and/or principal to the trust beneficiaries.  The beneficiaries may also direct distributions during their lifetime or upon death, or simply keep the assets in trust for the benefit of future generations, and therefore, avoid the imposition of subsequent estate and inheritance taxes.

How Can The Wochner Law Firm help?  

For nearly 40 years, the knowledgeable Illinois wills and trusts attorneysat The Wochner Law Firm have been helping clients obtain peace of mind by developing a thorough estate plan that includes the appropriate legal documents, such as wills, trusts, and powers of attorney.  The founder of The Wochner Law Firm, James A. Wochner, Esq., is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association and its Trusts and Estates section and of the American Association of Trust, Estate, and Elder Law Attorneys (AATEELA), in which he is a present Director and a former past President.  Further, Mr. Wochner is a member of the Chicago Council on Planned Giving. Our offices are conveniently located along the Edens Expressway in Northbrook, Illinois.

Contact The Wochner Law Firm at (847) 272-7360 to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Chicago-area wills and trusts attorneys.