Trusts were once used almost exclusively by the wealthy as a way to pass down the family wealth without incurring taxes and without giving up complete control over the wealth. Today, however, you don’t have to be wealthy to benefit from the inclusion of a trust in your estate plan. In fact, it is very common these days for a family wealth trust to be included in the comprehensive estate plan of an average individual. One question people often have when considering the addition of a family wealth trust to their estate plan is “ Will I still have control over my property if I create a family wealth trust? ”
The simple answer to that question is “yes”, you will retain control over the property you transfer into a family wealth trust, or FWT, as long as you make yourself the Trustee. In fact, you will continue to exert a certain amount of control over trust property long after your death through the trust terms you create.
A FWT is used to protect assets for future generations. As the creator of the trust you will make important decisions relating to the trust such as who will be the Trustee and the successor Trustee and when and how the assets held by the trust will be distributed to beneficiaries. If you appoint yourself to the position of Trustee you will retain direct control over trust assets until your death or incapacity. Of course, you will still be required to follow the terms of the trust but you will be the person who manages the trust assets and invests those assets.
Furthermore, the trust terms will continue to dictate how the trust assets are handled long after your incapacity or death. Because you create the trust terms you are effectively able to guide and control the assets held by the trust even after you are no longer here to do so in person. The ability to retain control over trust assets is one of the many reasons why more and more people are choosing to include a family wealth trust in their overall estate plan.
If you have additional questions or concerns relating to trust or Illinois estate planning in general contact the experienced Illinois estate planning attorneys at Nash Bean Ford & Brown, LLP by calling 309-944-2188 to schedule your appointment today.
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