- 2018 Posts
- Caregiver Specialist Heather Resnick on Caregiver Support
- Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
- Center Launches North Shore Senior Options
- On Blindness, Alzheimer's and Love
- Shared Vision: Winnetka Congregational Church Woman's Society Benevolence Committee
- Protecting Seniors and Adults with Disabilities: Adult Protective Services
- A Jack of All Trades: Al Davis
- Family Tradition: Gone Fishin'
- Dedicated Volunteer: Fern Kamen
- Generous Soul: Mitchell Slotnick
- Assessing the Older Adult Members of your Family
- Giving Back: Fay Goldblatt
- Adult Protective Services (APS) Program Benefits from Shamrock Shindig
- Humble Beginnings: Bobbi Halloran
+ 2017 Posts
- Arts and Crafts at the Center
- #GivingTuesday at North Shore Senior Center
- Leisure Time Well Spent - Daytrips at the Center
- New Advisory Council Formed
- Playreading with Vivian Mitchel
- North Shore Senior Center's Foundation Board
- Wills vs. Trusts
- Joan Golder Distinguished Senior Lecture Series showcased actor Mike Nussbaum
- 20/20 Corporate Campaign
- Functional Fitness: Training for Everyday Life
- Benefits of Pet Therapy for People with Memory Loss
- Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Benefit from Oktoberfest
- Small Screen Big Stars: Oh What a Night!
- Sharing a Common Thread
- Helping You Make Informed Choices for Care
- 2017 Janet Burgoon Philanthropic Excellence Award for Distinguished Community Partner
- 2017 Janet Burgoon Philanthropic Excellence Award for Dedicated Corporation
- 2017 Janet Burgoon Philanthropic Excellence Award for Outstanding Philanthropist
- Special Needs Trusts
- Gifts in Kind Increase the Center's Impact
- Enrich your Life with Lifelong Learning
- A Little TLC Goes a Long Way
- PEARLS: Reducing Symptoms of Depression Home-based Counseling Services Available
- Big Stars to Chair Annual Benefit
- Evanston Community Foundation
- Million Dollar Round Table Foundation
- Super Senior Day
- New Physical Therapy Services Now Available at North Shore Senior Center!
- Stroke Prevention Tips
- Why Powers of Attorney are Important to You!
- Get Expert Help with Your Tax Returns
- North Shore Senior Center Awarded Gold Status for Philanthropic Efforts
- Fitness as a Goal for Life
- Men's Club Offers Unique Programs to Community
- Spread the Love at North Shore Senior Center
- Jean Griswold Foundation supports House of Welcome Adult Day Services
- "I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for people." - Maya Angelou
- "A true hero isn't measured by the size of his strength, but by the strength of his heart." - Zeus from Hercules
- Winter Safety and Health Tips
- "A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself." - Joseph Campbell
- A Granddaughter's Love for her Grandmother
- Six Things to Consider Before Making Gifts to Grandchildren
- Lending Closet for Durable Medical Equipment at North Shore Senior Center
- Seniors Can Save Lives by Donating Blood
+ 2016 Posts
- Lifelong Learning Catalog Wins International Award for Best Brochure
- Life Stories are Gifts that Keep on Giving
- Visiting Aging Parents During the Holidays
- Edna Weber Garden of Light Wing at the House of Welcome
- Learn More About What Makes This World Tick
- 60 Years of Service: Advocacy
- 60 Years of Service: Compassion
- Myrna and John Cruikshank, III: Steady and Committed Philanthropists
- Kenilworth United Fund: Longstanding, Civic-Minded Community Partner
- Radford Green at Sedgebrook: Dedicated Corporation and Vested Supporter
- Simple Tips to Improve Your Balance
- 60 Years of Service: Creativity
- Daily Money Management Fosters Peace of Mind
- Opportunities for Learning, Exploring, and Connecting
- The Edna Weber "Garden of Light" Wing
- Protecting Vulnerable Seniors: Adult Protective Services Promotes Quality of Life
- Top Ten Reasons Why Older Adults Continue to Work
- Super Seniors We Admire!
- Scams and Fraud: Protect Yourself
- The State's Devastating Impact on Our Budget
- North Shore Senior Center Southern Hub Moves to Niles
- Alzheimer's Family Support Group
- Evanston Support Group for Family Caregivers
- Family Caregiver Support Group in Skokie
+ 2015 Posts
- Music + Dance + Dialogue = A Musical!
- Flex and Strengthen Your Muscles
- Generous & Caring Corporate Citizen
- More Than Service and Fellowship
- Art Gallery a "Hidden Gem" at North Shore Senior Center
- Sound Off on Hearing Loss
- Making Sense of American Poltics
- Fitness Center Enhances More Than Muscle Strength
- Virtual View of Art: From the Basics to Specialties
- Social Connections are a Key to Successful Aging
- North Shore Senior Center Celebrates Super Seniors!
- Super Senior Spotlight
- What is a Senior Center?
- MDRT Foundation Aids Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Program
- Social Worker Reaches Out to Seniors in Need
- How to Achieve Your Healthiest Brain Yet
- AmazonSmile: Your Online Shopping Can Help NSSC!
+ 2014 Posts
Wills vs. TrustsOctober 23, 2017
By: Kerry R. Peck, Esq., Managing Partner of Peck Ritchey, LLC
Contributing Author: Lori Probasco, Law Clerk
Have you ever thought about how your property will be passed onto your loved ones after you pass? When you are making these plans, you need to know that there are typically two instruments that are used to dictate how your property will be distributed: a will and a trust. When deciding whether to use a will, a trust, or both, there are many factors that should be taken into account.
What is a Will?
A will is a document that indicates to the probate court how you would like your estate handled after death. It allows you to name beneficiaries and direct what property is to be distributed to them. Through the will, you can also appoint a guardian to take care of minor children, nominate executors to carry out the wishes of the will, and give instructions as to memorial and funeral services. To create a will you must be of sound mind, meaning you must understand what property you have, the effect of the will, and who the beneficiaries of the will are. The will must be signed by you and two witnesses who are not beneficiaries of the will. After the death of the creator of the will, the document passes through probate. Probate is the legal process for managing the estates of those who are deceased or disabled. The nominated executor manages and distributes the assets, with or without the supervision of the court.
What is a Trust?
A living trust is a document that allows you to transfer possession of specified assets in the name of the trust. You can appoint yourself as the trustee, allowing you to continue to manage the assets while you are alive, or you can appoint an independent trustee if you would like your assets professionally managed. Independent trustees are typically banks or financial advisors. Co-trustees may also be appointed, and a successor trustee should be appointed to take over after you pass away or become incapacitated. Unlike a will, you cannot appoint guardians for children or leave instructions as to memorial and funeral services in a trust. To create a trust, you must be of sound mind. After death or incapacity the successor trustee is to manage and distribute the assets per the trust’s instructions. There a number of different types of trusts that can be tailored to your specific needs. For example, some may limit how and when distributions go to the beneficiary.
What are the Differences between Wills and Trusts?
One basic difference between wills and trusts is that a will is handled by the probate court and goes into effect only after death. The Court will ensure that the will is valid and that the property gets distributed the way the deceased intended. A trust, on the other hand, goes into effect as soon as it is created, and the property passes outside the probate court.
There are other important differences to take into consideration when deciding between a will, a trust, or both.
Because a will passes through the probate courts, it becomes a part of the public record after the death of the creator. The court does not oversee the passing of a trust – therefore the assets, beneficiaries, and terms of the trust remain private. If privacy is something that is important to you, this may be something to take into consideration when deciding whether to put certain property in a trust, or to pass the property on through a will.
Time and Cost
Another effect of a will passing through probate is that it can take a long time, and can be costly after death. The probate process in Illinois takes at least 6 months, because the Illinois Probate Act requires courts to give potential creditors 6 months to file their claims against the estate. However, no transfer of property is needed to create a will, so the cost to create a will is likely to be less than the cost to create a trust.
In a trust, the specified assets must be transferred into the trust and specific instructions must be given to the current and/or future trustee, making a trust potentially more costly and complicated to create than a will. If you have an independent trustee managing your trust, you will have to pay fees. However, after the creator is deceased, the distribution of the trust will likely be much less complicated and occur much quicker. Trusts can be written such that beneficiaries of the trust start receiving assets immediately after your passing.
A will and a trust require different planning with regards to property as well. Property may be distributed through a will, but it covers only property that is solely in your name at the time of death. It does not cover property that is held in joint tenancy, which passes directly to the joint tenant.
If the value of your estate is under the “small estates” limit in Illinois, the will can pass under “summary probate,” which is a simplified probate procedure. Instead of appearing before a judge, the executor would only need to file a few forms. After the forms are processed, the assets can then be distributed. In Illinois, the summary probate procedure can be used for estates valued at less than $100,000.
A trust covers property that has been transferred to the trust. Therefore, if two spouses jointly own property, they can decide to transfer the property from their names over to the trust. The trust can then name beneficiaries and instruct the trustee as to how and when the property is to be distributed. Trusts tend to allow for more flexibility in what property can be distributed and how it is distributed.
A trust may be amended or revoked any time during the creator’s or creators’ lives, so long as they are deemed competent. After death of the creator, the terms of the trust become permanent. Unless the trust is written to require otherwise, a trust may be amended without the signature of a notary.
A will, however, must be amended through a Codicil, which requires the signature of two witnesses who are not beneficiaries of your will. You may also elect to revoke the current will and create a new one, especially if you have multiple amendments to one will. This lowers the risk of confusion.
Having Both a Will and A Trust
Another option is to have both trust and a will. For example, significant assets can be transferred into a trust, with the will covering everything else. If the value of the items left to the will is below $100,000, then it can go through the simplified summary probate process. A will can also be used with a trust in order to appoint guardians for children, or give instructions as to funeral or memorial arrangements.
When creating either a will or a trust, an attorney can guide you through the process and draft the necessary documents, ensuring that the documents are written clearly and unambiguously. This will deter people from contesting the documents after your death, saving your loved ones from a lengthy, painful process.