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How Does a Land Trust Work?

Posted on in Estate Planning

Chatham, IL estate planning lawyerLands trusts are living trusts that give the beneficiary full or partial legal ownership over a property. The person who establishes the trust is the grantor and the owner of the property. A trustee manages the trust itself. 

This estate planning strategy allows individuals and business owners to protect their property. The entire estate planning process can be difficult, so it is always smart to consult an experienced attorney. They can ensure that your land trust is legally binding and can guide you into making the best informed decision for your unique circumstance. 

What Are the Advantages of a Land Trust in Illinois?

Land trusts are usually established by real estate investors and estate planning property owners because of their advantages. Here are a few of those benefits


Hyde Park, IL estate planning attorneyAs a new parent, you are likely feeling somewhat overwhelmed by the responsibility that you now have for safeguarding the interests of the little person who has been entrusted to your care. This is normal, and although this feeling can be uncomfortable at times, you can use it to your family’s advantage. Allow it to inspire you to make healthy choices, to shore up your finances, and to either craft an estate plan for the first time or to update any documents that you may have executed in the past.

Naming a Guardian 

In the tragic event that you do not live long enough to watch your child reach the age of majority, it is going to be vitally important that you have selected someone you trust to assume responsibility for their care. If you do not choose someone proactively – ideally, someone who shares your parenting philosophies and is stable and loving – the state will determine who will raise your child. This is an outcome that you can avoid by naming a guardian for your child in your will.

Providing for Your Child’s Care

If you pass away early in life, you will want to make sure that your “affairs are in order” in ways that provide for your child’s care as they grow. There are a host of estate planning tools, from trusts to beneficiary designations, that you can use to better ensure that your child is financially provided for, even if you are no longer around to provide that support directly. By working with a knowledgeable attorney who can help you to identify which estate planning resources you need to achieve your goals – and who can help you execute them in ways that are enforceable per state law – you can better ensure your child’s well-being if anything should happen to you while they are still a minor and are unable to support themselves.


Oak Lawn Estate Planning LawyerOne of the most beneficial tools a person can use in their estate plan is a trust. Trusts provide many advantages, including the ability to avoid probating the assets that are contained in the trust. However, there are situations where after the trust is created, the individual passes before they had the opportunity to transfer certain assets into the trust that should have been included. This can happen for various reasons, such as acquiring new assets after the creation of the trust or unintentionally omitting certain assets from the trust. In these situations, a pour-over will can ensure that any overlooked assets will still be managed and distributed according to the terms of the trust.

Advantages of a Pour-Over Will

One of the key advantages of a pour-over will is its ability to simplify the probate process. When a person passes away, their estate typically goes through probate, which involves validating the will and distributing assets. However, if a person's assets are primarily held in a trust and they have a pour-over will, the pour-over will directs any remaining assets to the trust, bypassing probate for those assets. This can save time and money, and reduce the complexity of the probate process.

Pour-over wills also offer flexibility in estate planning. They allow individuals to make changes to their asset distribution without the need to amend the trust itself. This can be particularly useful when circumstances change, such as acquiring new assets, selling existing assets, or changing beneficiaries. By updating the pour-over will, individuals can ensure that their estate plan remains current and aligned with their wishes.


Calumet City Estate Planning LawyerWhether a person has a physical or mental disability, the need for financial support is often consistent. The cost of medical care, home healthcare, specialized equipment, housing, and everyday needs can quickly add up. If you have a family member with a disability, you may worry about his or her ability to cover these costs after you have passed away. A special needs trust is a trust used exactly for this purpose.

What is a Special Needs Trust?

A special needs trust is a fiduciary relationship involving a grantor, trustee, and beneficiary. The grantor, or person who creates the trust, adds funds to the trust and assigns a trustee to oversee the distribution of the funds. The funds are distributed to the disabled person who can use them to cover living expenses, medical needs, and any other costs that he or she encounters.

What makes a special needs trust different from other types of trusts is that trust assets are not counted against the disabled person when it comes to public assistance. Many disabled people receive Social Security or Medicaid to help them cover expenses. These programs are based on income. If your assets and income exceed a certain limit, you are ineligible for benefits. A special needs trust provides financial support to a disabled person without threatening their eligibility for public assistance. Because the trust assets are held by the trust and not the disabled person, the trust assets are not counted as income.


chicago estate planning lawyerAging parents often leave conversations about inheritance untouched. These conversations are difficult and can leave both parents and children feeling sad or confused. However, these conversations are also very important because they touch on serious topics that have the potential to significantly impact the lives of everyone involved. By avoiding conversations about estate planning and end-of-life wishes, parents may inadvertently set their children up for more pain and suffering in the future as they struggle to understand a parent’s wishes regarding their estate. 

For many, a parent’s home is the only inheritance that will be handed down upon the parent’s death. The lack of more complex or valuable property may lead some people to believe that creating an estate plan just for a home is not worth the time or effort it would take. But putting a home through the probate process can be very complex and can significantly diminish the overall value that inheritors stand to inherit from the home. If you are interested in helping your parents keep their home out of the probate process after they pass away, read on. 

Does Real Estate Have to Go Through Probate? 

With the appropriate legal instruments in place, your parent’s home does not have to go through the probate process. There are many advantages to avoiding probate, including: 

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