Wills and Trusts
If you would like to be the one who determines how your property is distributed after your death, you should draw up a final will and/or a trust. The attorneys at Kollias & Giese, P.C. are ready to advise you and draft the required documents.
A final will declaration is a document that details how various items or portions of your property should be distributed, and to whom. If you have children, you may also specify in a will who should become their guardian in case they are still minors at the time of your death. You can also nominate an executor—the person who would ensure that the various provisions of your will are properly followed. However, wills entail probate costs.
“Probate” is the process through which a court oversees the handling of a person’s property and debts after the person’s death. This can be a very costly process and create unnecessary tension between beneficiaries, who are often family. In order to avoid probate, people often choose to draw up a will as well as a trust, or establish a trust instead of a will, since trusts are not subject to probate proceedings.
In a trust agreement, a “trustee,” owns legal title to certain property and promises to administer or distribute that property for the benefit of another—the “beneficiary.” The “settlor” (also referred to as the “grantor” or “trustmaker”) is the person(s) who places his or her property into ownership of the trust, and he or she can control the way in which the trust will be administered and the way in which trust assets will, if at all, be distributed. This can occur either during the settlor’s lifetime or at his or her death. The trust agreement may also define certain duties of the trustee or trustees as desired by the settlor(s), and may also spell out the rights of the trust beneficiaries.
Several different types of trusts exist, reflecting the countless ways in which individuals choose to manage their property, as well as specific goals (such as maximizing benefits for indifiduals with special needs, minimizing taxes, etc.). If you would like to discuss various options that might meet your particular needs, please contact Kollias & Giese, P.C. for an initial consultation.
Establishing a clear, detailed, and properly executed estate plan is the best way to ensure that your wishes will be carried out, especially if you have succeeded in building up a significant amount of property, are part of a complex family structure, or anticipate possible arguments over your property after your death. By creating such documents, you may be able to limit animosity and litigation among family members and friends.
Whether you are interested in drawing up a will or trust or revising existing ones, the experienced attorneys at Kollias & Giese, P.C. are ready to help. We are also ready to provide effective and discreet representation if you are a settlor, trustee, or beneficiary of an already existing trust and are facing legal issues related to that trust.
For a free 30–minute initial consultation, please call (630) 407-1200, or complete our online intake form.