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Frequently Asked Questions About Estate Planning in Illinois
What is a trustee?
A trustee is the person who has to power to manage the assets named in the trust. In most cases you will be the trustee while you are alive, however you have the option of naming a child, friend or institution to manage your affairs while you are alive if you prefer.
What is a grantor?
You are the grantor- the person who sets up the trust. The grantor has full control to manage or change the trust at any time. Grantors can also be called creators, settlers or trustors. When a trust is created, the grantor is usually the same person as the trustee.
What is a successor trustee?
A successor trustee is the person you elect to manage your assets when you die or become incapacitated. The successor trustee has the right to distribute your assets according to your instructions in the trust without the need for probate court. The successor trustee will have to same powers as the original grantor, namely the power to buy, sell, borrow, or transfer the assets named in the trust.
What is a beneficiary?
Beneficiaries are the people named in the trust that will receive the benefit of the trust's assets. Most people name their spouse as beneficiary, but there are no limitations on who you can name to be your beneficiaries.
How many witnesses are needed for an Illinois will to be valid?
In Illinois you need at least two witnesses to your signature of affirmation of the will, although it is a good idea to have more than two in case one of the witnesses passes away before you do or in case there are any will challenges.
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