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 will and/or a trust. The Wheaton attorney Daniel J. Kollias is ready to advise you and draft the required documents.
A will 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. That process can be expensive and take quite some time, during which the beneficiaries listed in a will are not able to access the property left to them. In order to avoid this, 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.
Trusts are arrangements in which one party, a “trustee,” owns legal title to some property but promises to administer or distribute that property for the benefit of another—the “beneficiary.” By creating a trust, the “settlor” (i.e. the person who places his or her property in the trust) can control the way in which the trust property will be managed and distributed, either during the settlor’s lifetime or at his or her death. The document detailing a trust agreement may spell out the particular duties of the trustee or trustees, as well as the rights of the beneficiaries.
Many different types of trusts exist, reflecting the countless ways in which individuals choose to manage their property, as well as specific goals (such as minimizing taxes). 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 will and/or trust 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, meticulous attorney Daniel J. Kollias is 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.