Duties of Trustees to Beneficiaries

Web Admin - Wednesday, July 30, 2014

long grove wills and trusts lawyerOne common legal instrument that people use to plan their estates is a trust. A trust is a legal entity involving at least three roles: a settlor, a trustee, and a beneficiary. The idea of the trust is that each of these three roles work together. The settlor creates the rules of the trust and provides it with property, and they designate the beneficiary. The beneficiary, like the name suggests, is the person for whom the trust is managed. They derive the benefit of any income or other gains from the trust.

However, between the settlor and the beneficiary lies the trustee. The trustee manages the assets of the trust and uses them in the best interests of the beneficiary as directed by the rules of the trust that the settlor created. This means that the trustee has a variety of duties that they need to fulfill. These trustee duties can be thought of as either substantive or procedural duties. This is not an official classification, and the lines can blur, but it is at least a helpful way to catalog the duties.

Substantive Duties

Substantive duties are those that require the trustee to behave in a certain way. The central example is the duty to administer the trust by the rules the settlor laid out. The trust document will contain a variety of provisions, and it is the trustee's duty to follow them. Another example of these substantive duties is the duty of skill and care. This means that the trustee must manage the trust's assets with reasonable skill and caution. Similarly, Illinois law also imposes a “prudent investor” duty on trustees.

This means that the trustee has the duty to act as a prudent investor of the trust's assets including things like developing a diversified portfolio and actively managing investments as necessary. Trustees working with multiple beneficiaries also have a further duty: that of loyalty and impartiality. The trustee may not favor one beneficiary over the other unless the trust instrument provides some reason for it.

Procedural and Ministerial Duties

Trustees also owe beneficiaries a variety of more procedural duties, which involve the proper formalities of managing the trust. For instance, the law governing trusts in Illinois requires trustees to give annual accountings of the trust's receipts, disbursements, and an inventory of the estate. Trustees also often have duties to provide notice of certain actions such as changes in the trusteeship. This may also include a requirement that the trustee provide the beneficiaries with a copy of the trust instrument for their records.

These are just some of the many duties that trustees owe the beneficiaries of their trust. If you would like more information on the legal ramifications of managing a trust, contact an experienced Illinois estate planning attorney today. Our firm advises clients in many northwest suburban towns like Long Grove, Kenilworth, and South Barrington.

About the Author: Attorney Jay Andrew is a founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law and has been practicing in estate planning, probate, trust administration, real estate law, residential/commercial leasing, contracts, and civil litigation. Since 2005, Jay has been a Chair of the Mock Trial Committee for the Annual Northwest Suburban Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitation which serves over 240 local Illinois students each year.

5 Benefits to Using an Institutional Trustee

Web Admin - Tuesday, April 08, 2014

illinois trusts and estate planning attorneyTrusts are versatile, useful legal instruments that allow the grantor (the person who sets up the trust) to set aside certain money or other assets for the use of another person (the beneficiary). However, the beneficiary does not have direct access to the assets. Instead, the trust is managed by a trustee whose job it is to control the assets and use them in the beneficiary’s best interest. This makes choosing the trustee one of the most important parts of setting up a trust.

Although most individuals can serve as a trustee, Illinois law also allows for the use of an “institutional trustee.” Institutional trustees are companies, often banks, who professionally manage the trust’s assets. These companies usually do charge a fee for the services, but the companies come with several benefits:

  • - They are skilled at managing trusts;
  • - They have the ability to handle complex paperwork and recordkeeping;
  • - They provide continuity to the management of the trust;
  • - They operate free of bias; and
  • - They are regulated to prevent fraud.

Reasons to Use an Institutional Trustee

  1. 1. Experienced Administrators: Institutional trustees have experience managing trusts. This allows them to easily navigate the legal requirements for trustees. Furthermore, many trustees are responsible for investing the trust’s assets. Banks and other institutional trustees are often professional investors who will be able to handle the task better than friends or family.

  1. 2. Strong Recordkeeping: Trusts also have fairly extensive recordkeeping requirements to prevent fraud on the part of the trustee. Institutional trustees have the infrastructure in place to make sure that important documents, like tax returns, are filed on time and do not get misplaced. Furthermore, the use of an institutional trustee prevents this complex work from being pushed onto a friend or family member.

  1. 3. Management Continuity: The corporate nature of institutional trustees also allows for continuity in the trust’s management. Trusts can last for decades and decades. An individual trustee may not be physically or mentally capable of managing a trust for its entire duration. Conversely, institutional trustees have the ability to smoothly transfer trust administration from one employee to the next, allowing for steady management of the assets.

  1. 4. Unbiased Distribution: Additionally, institutional trustees can eliminate the possibility of bias that might exist with trustees who are friends or family. The company would not have any prior history with particular beneficiaries that might interfere with the fair and evenhanded use of the trust’s assets.

  1. 5. Fraud Protection: Finally, institutional trustees have fraud prevention mechanisms in place. Although everyone would like to think that their friends or family members are above reproach, cases of theft on the part of the trustee do happen. Many institutional trustees are subject to government regulation and auditing requirements that can reduce the risk of fraud on their parts.

If you are interested in setting up a trust, consult with an Illinois estate planning lawyer to tailor one to your specific situation. Our attorneys lend their experience to clients across the northwest suburban area, including in Long Grove, Riverwoods, and Kenilworth.

About the Author: Attorney Jay Andrew is a founding partner of Drost, Gilbert, Andrew & Apicella, LLC. He is a graduate of the University of Dayton School of Law and has been practicing in estate planning, probate, trust administration, real estate law, residential/commercial leasing, contracts, and civil litigation. Since 2005, Jay has been a Chair of the Mock Trial Committee for the Annual Northwest Suburban Bar Association High School Mock Trial Invitation which serves over 240 local Illinois students each year.

Five Advantages of Living Trusts Over Wills

Web Admin - Friday, January 03, 2014

By Jay Andrew
JAA@DGAALAW.COM / (847) 934-6000

When preparing for the disposition of their property after they pass on, many people often find themselves questioning what wills and living trusts are and which document would better suit their needs. Wills, governed by the Probate Act of 1975, are legal documents that a person prepares prior to their death, which specifies how the rest of the family should distribute their property and handle the other affairs. Living trusts, which are controlled by the Trusts and Trustees Act, are legal devices that allow a person of the creator’s choosing, the trustee, to handle the disposition of their property. While everyone’s situation comes with unique considerations, living trusts may provide various advantages over wills. Five of the most important advantages include:

1. Living trusts can help your family avoid dealing with long, draw-out probate proceedings. Courts use probate proceedings to tie up a person’s loose ends, distribute their property, and generally enact their will. If you use a living trust, rather than moving through the court system, the trustee can distribute the property in accordance with the trust. This means that your family will not need to bring themselves to the courthouse and deal with the fees and hassle that come along with probate proceedings.

2. Living trusts also provide more privacy than wills do. While both wills and living trusts remain private throughout your life, the probate court will look at the will after you pass on, even if there are no formal probate proceedings. That means that the will becomes a matter of public record. On the other hand, your relatives will not need to file the trust with the court, so it can stay between them.

3. Living trusts also stand a better chance of surviving a legal challenge after your death, making it more likely that your final plans will be enacted to your specifications. The extra strength from a living trust comes from your ability to keep an active eye on it during your life. Because you would stay involved with the trust’s management during your life, relatives would find it harder to prove that you were not of sound mind when making the plan.

4. Living trusts make leaving property to minor children simpler too. Because minors cannot own most property, the trustee whom you choose can manage it for them, whereas a court appointee would likely handle the management if you chose to pass the property on with a will.

5. Living trusts have further benefits in the event that you become incapacitated while alive. Ordinarily, such circumstances would require relatives to petition the court for control of your affairs, and then the court would appoint a person to manage them. With a living trust, you can appoint a successor trustee to take over management in the event that you become incapacitated.

Decisions about testamentary dispositions can be complicated and involve multiple areas of law. If you are in the process of making such decisions, contact a Palatine estate planning lawyer today. We serve many areas in the northwest suburbs including Arlington Heights, Crystal Lake and Barrington.

Recent Posts


Barrington injury attorney Illinois medical malpractice case accidental death benefits Barrington personal injury attorney personal injury accidents insurance disputes, Illinois insurance disputes, Illinois insurance dispute attorneys, denied insurance claims, Arlington Heights insurance dispute attorneys Deer Park accident attorney advance healthcare directive elder law vacation home condo association Palatine civil attorney Illinois rollover accident lawyers traffic deaths paid sick leave distracted driving accident victims products liability Arlington Heights criminal lawyer owner responsibility Inverness insurance attorney eluding a police officer Barrington criminal lawyer Crystal Lake pedestrian accident lawyer Illinois insurance disputes POA personal injury claims Arlington Heights trucking lawyer manufacturing Des Plaines collections attorney Crystal Lake traffic attorney new real estate form estate planning trusts rollover accidents digital assets, digital fiduciary, estate planning, digital content, Long Grove estate planning lawyers Rolling Meadows litigation lawyer Illinois wills and trusts controlled substance insurance denial appeals Des Plaines claims law firm Buffalo Grove corporate attorney IRA trust transfer license reinstatement Schaumburg estate planning lawyer pedestrian accident whistleblower protections Barrington business law firm Schaumburg personal injury attorney Des Plaines Traffic Lawyer Schaumburg employment law attorneys IRS pedestrian injuries, pedestrian fatality Crystal Lake car accident lawyer special needs trust power of attorney Riverwoods estate planning lawyer contracts forming a corporation in Illinois Chicago trucking accident attorney School Visitation Rights Act Illinois wrongful termination, employment law, whistleblower protections, Illinois employment laws, discrimination in the workplace Inverness accident lawyer wrongful death Buffalo Grove probate lawyer drunk driving internet blood alcohol content Illinois attorney Illinois estate planning workers comp deadly crashes child safety Rolling Meadows accident lawyer Barrington medical malpractice lawyers car accident lawyers Illinois medical malpractice attorney personal injury, auto accident injuries, delayed injuries, serious injuries, Des Plaines personal injury attorneys Des Plaines DUI attorney Kenilworth estate planning attorneys insurance negligence real estate meal breaks foreclosure employment law, Illinois employment laws marijuana employee misclassification Kenilworth estate planning attorney criminal record jet ski accidents natural gas Crystal Lake estate planning lawyer Illinois traffic ticket lawyer swimming pools Illinois law Super Mario Schaumburg construction accident lawyer Schaumburg probate attorney Arlington Heights car accident lawyer pet bites natural gas explosion Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyers Schaumburg drug defense lawyer BAIID landlord traffic laws Illinois insurance attorney Illinois motorcycle accident lawyer landlord tenant law Illinois workplace lawyer Des Plaines personal injury lawyer Schaumburg injury lawyer pain and suffering rent to own real estate contracts real estate closing Barrington Traffic Lawyer Buffalo Grove traffic lawyers Inverness estate planning lawyer sexual images Illinois collections attorney Illinois insurance claims lawyers Buffalo Grove employment lawyer Schaumburg criminal attorney Illinois workplace discrimination attorney construction accidents Mount Prospect wills and trusts lawyers elder abuse pedestrian accidents Crystal Lake medical malpractice law firm medical malpractice claims Schaumburg personal injury lawyers llinois Real Estate Lawyers Association privacy laws BUI construction contracts boating DUI Illinois employment attorneys low-ball insurance settlement Rolling Meadows Attorney Buffalo Grove car accident lawyer wills and trusts drug crime car accident lawyer Barrington employment attorney Illinois pedestrian accident attorney social media after death DNR clemency Illinois Trust Code Illinois lawyer DGAA cell phone accidents trucking accidents home inspection lawyer trusts Des Plaines drug lawyer Palatine estate planning lawyer Illinois probate lawyer cell phone Buffalo Grove injury lawyer Rolling Meadows employment law attorney Deer Park real estate law firm criminal law Inverness civil lawyer Barrington personal injury lawyer college kids murder charges Illinois wills and trusts attorneys mass shooting Inverness real estate lawyer Buffalo Grove real estate attorney bicycle dooring accidents Arlington Heights traffic attorney slip and fall Arlington Heights estate planning attorney Buffalo Grove criminal defense lawyer Chicago will attorney, social media platforms, Illinois estate planning lawyer, Inverness traffic law firm healthcare claims Illinois traffic attorney marijuana crimes attorney Colin Gilbert Illinois driving without license texting while driving irrevocable trust Rolling Meadows employment law attorneys Illinois civil litigation lawyer employees pregnant women Palatine insurance lawyer Rolling Meadows insurance lawyer Barrington drug crime attorney Landlord Tenant Ordinance PTSD insurance agents Inverness injury lawyer Illinois estate planning law firm capital gains tax Illinois injury lawyer Crystal Lake employment lawyer pizza emoji Des Plaines medical malpractice attorney attorney fees living trust vs will Fair Labor Standards Act small business Palatine construction attorney modern family estate planning Crystal Lake medical malpractice attorneys Joliet general practice lawyers rest breaks Deer Park employment law attorney workers compensation TBI insurance denials Schaumburg elder law lawyer murder defense Des Plaines pet law attorney LLCs denied insurance claim medication errors fault based insurance Rolling Meadows traffic attorney unauthorized overtime Mount Prospect elder law attorney Palatine personal injury lawyer Long Grove estate planning attorneys Palatine employment law lawyer hit and run accident Deer Park DUI lawyer Des Plaines real estate lawyer Arlington Heights medical malpractice lawyer Illinois car accident attorney agent personal injury law firm medical marijuana Thanksgiving head on collisions Chicago car accident lawyer dog bites operating agreements Inverness corporate attorney business litigation traffic offenses auto accidents sole proprietorship Schaumburg car accident attorney Kenilworth estate planning lawyer fiduciary rule delay ACA foreclosed rental property unfunded trust employee rights texting and driving health insurance dispute Long Grove real estate lawyer estate planning, digital assets, Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, Illinois digital assets, Illinois estate planning, Inverness DUI lawyer Arlington Heights Attorney trench injuries independent contractor homestead rights insurance attorney Illinois defective products attorney Illinois trucking safety compensatory time Des Plaines digital assets traffic accidents Illinois corporate lawyer Palatine elder law attorney Long Grove real estate attorney Chicago attorney Arlington Heights wills and trusts lawyer Illinois mortgages civil rights violation Deer Park motorcycle accident lawyer Rolling Meadows tax attorney Illinois tax attorney medical research Barrington employment law attorney car crash real estate leasing traffic tickets life insurance fiduciary rule traffic violations Rolling Meadows personal injury attorney motorcycle accident Buffalo Grove insurance claim dispute lawyers automated cars license suspension Schaumburg employment attorney gift tax exemption, estate planning, estate planning strategies, Illinois estate planning, South Barrington estate planning attorneys ObamaCare Crystal Lake accident attorney living trust Illinois wrongful termination lawyer tax attorney liens Policy Cancellation Detainer Actions sexual harassment expungement Des Plaines criminal attorney Palatine drug lawyer real estate attorneys Crystal Lake criminal defense attorney living trust benefits Food and Drug Administration's Food Safety Modernization Act Schaumburg food poisoning bike accident Schaumburg corporate attorney driving insurance disputes Crystal lake insurance dispute attorney insurance adjusters caregiver Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers, insurance dispute Barrington attorney murder Palatine traffic accidents estate attorney Illinois speeding lawyer insurance claim Retaliatory Discharge Illinois Human Rights Act Illinois employment lawyer trauma after an accident dynasty trusts insurance claim dispute attorney digital evidence Illinois employee rights attorney. insurance dispute Arlington Heights lawyer disability benefits Chicago employment lawyer liability drug crimes Employment Discrimination Law Chicago estate planning Illinois Sales Representative Act healthcare boating accidents Illinois business lawyer Schaumburg estate attorney Palatine punch death job lawyers minimum wage DUI liability claims brain injury car crash injuries Colin H. Gilbert Crystal Lake tax lawyer Deer Park workers compensation lawyer suspended license Palatine traffic lawyer Schaumburg personal injury lawyer Illinois real estate lawyer pet law GM ignition switches Crystal Lake pet attorney Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission ken apicella Inverness probate lawyer employment attorney Arlington Heights pedestrian accidents real estate contract Illinois trusts attorney Arlington Heights tax lawyer Illinois traffic accident lawyer Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyer DUI penalities Buffalo Grove traffic attorney Legal Info condo life insurance lawyer appealing an insurance claim investment property Deer Park medical malpractice attorney Barrington estate planning attorney drug possession license revocation trustee Illinois construction accident attorney denied insurance claims Crystal Lake will lawyer estate planning, death tax, succession plans, business estate plans, Barrington estate planning lawyers Long Grove estate planning attorney Palatine workers compensation lawyer construction accidents, personal injury, wrongful death, Arlington Heights personal injury attorneys, workers' compensation Des Plaines civil attorney Palatine injury attorney Buffalo Grove medical malpractice lawyers medical malpractice Chicago corporate attorney Crystal Lake business law attorneys estate planning attorney Crystal Lake employment attorney insurance dispute, insurance dispute lawyers, insurance claim denial, insurance claim delays, Rolling Meadows insurance dispute attorneys estate planning for college students Forcible Entry Deer Park traffic accident attorney Rolling Meadows business lawyer real estate lawyer Illinois Probate Act of 1975 speeding Arlington Heights TBI attorney Chicago traffic lawyer spinal cord injury insurance claim delay pedestrian-automobile accident life insurance claims Illinois traffic laws Crystal Lake personal injury lawyer power of attorney for healthcare hiring employees Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorneys Arlington Heights real estate lawyer Illinois medical malpractice claim Arlington Heights insurance attorney Illinois real estate loss of consortium license IRELA Illinois employment law firm Illinois insurance dispute lawyers surgical mistakes Illinois insurance lawyer Arlington Heights accident attorney back injuries Illinois employment law defective products Arlington Heights car crash attorneys Illinois elder law attorney reckless homicide Crystal Lake bike accident lawyer probate claims process underinsured motorist underage DUI Illinois personal injury Illinois workers compensation attorney traumatic brain injuries premises liability insurance claim denial Des Plaines personal injury lawyers uninsured motorist employment contract corporate law Buffalo Grove law firm preventing accidents Des Plaines personal injury attorney civil litigation attorney anesthesia errors Home Sale Contingencies Long Grove wills and trusts attorneys Palatine trusts lawyer Des Plaines motorcycle accident attorney Deer Park personal injury lawyer Des Plaines tax law firm Barrington criminal defense lawyer Schaumburg real estate lawyer spinal cord injuries Rolling Meadows probate lawyer revenge porn vacation home fines Chicago estate planning lawyer personal injury claim breach of contract workers compensation benefits estate planning lawyer installment contracts Chicago insurance claim attorneys Barrington employment law firm Arlington Heights wills and trusts attorney Barrington workers compensation attorney medical malpractice, missed diagnosis, delayed diagnosis, medical mistake, Deer Creek medical malpractice lawyers Palatine business attorney Illinois personal injury lawyer Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyers commercial leasing Chicago will attorney Mount Prospect real estate lawyer first degree murder Rolling Meadows insurance dispute lawyers Schaumburg criminal law attorney truck collisions Family Medical Leave Act right to work Barrington real estate lawyer traffic violations defense Palatine Attorney Palatine probate lawyer caretaker rights golf accidents Rolling Meadows Traffic Lawyer personal injury traumatic brain injury Rolling Meadows DUI lawyer gift taxes Rolling Meadows Illinois estate planning attorney living wills commercial real estate workplace sexual harassment severance agreements Barrington litigation attorney real estate zoning Illinois LLC creation bad faith insurance claims Crystal Lake civil litigation lawyer distracted driving accidents Arlington Heights employment law attorneys Des Plaines drug crimes lawyer Inverness personal injury attorney consent to a search wills Liquor Control Act Illinois medical malpractice lawyers fatal car accidents Illinois bicycle safety product liability probate process Rolling Meadows medical malpractice lawyers real estate attorney Whistleblower Claims Rolling Meadows criminal lawyer Illinois Smoke Detector Act medical malpractice compensation South Barrington real estate attorney creditors comp time wage theft Schaumburg medical malpractice lawyer Illinois job attorney comparative negligence personal injury attorney Illinois DUI attorney income distribution deducation probate lawyer defective products lawyer Arlington Heights Traffic Lawyer changes to mortgage law motorcycle accident lawyer Illinois employment laws Palatine employment lawyer Crystal Lake car accident attorney rumble strips Rolling Meadows boating crash lawyer Jay Andrew cell phone tower data Do Not Resuscitate Inverness elder law lawyer Palatine corporate law attorneys Arlington Heights injury attorney insurance claim dispute Self-Directed IRA Accounts Crystal Lake personal injury attorney South Barrington real estate lawyer senior citizens criminal defense Rolling Meadows real estate attorney blended families Rolling Meadows corporate lawyer drug crimes lawyer IRA benefits field sobriety test Illinois criminal defense attorney Des Plaines accident attorney Des Plaines insurance attorney DUI attorney Transfer on Death Instrument trucking accident lawyers icy parking lots Arlington Heights personal injury attorney Rolling Meadows marijuana attorney subcontractor Illinois registered agent Illinois small business institutional trustee probate fees Deer Park traffic lawyer Crystal Lake medical malpractice lawyer employment contract, employment law, employment at-will, Deer Park employment law attorneys, contract, DUI defense probate estate plan Illinois insurance claim dispute lawyer car crashes overtime violations Rolling Meadows personal injury lawyers breathalyzer test Illinois red light cameras Illinois pet lawyer financial advisors Illinois will lawyer probate claims Illinois employment law attorney boating under the influence Schaumburg Attorney Inverness real estate attorney unpaid overtime Chicago insurance law firm commercial leases Chicago employment attorney DMV Rolling Meadows employment attorney dealing with problem employees unpaid assessment crossover accidents underfunded trust employment law taxes nursing home negligence Crystal Lake law firm estate planning guardianship attorney Illinois personal injury lawyers insurance claims Rolling Meadows drug defense attorney Arlington Heights employment attorney wrongful termination Exclusions Schaumburg estate planning attorney slip and fall accidents Des Plaines injury law firm jet ski Chicago biking tips digital information Schaumburg civil litigation attorney Buffalo Grove personal injury lawyer mortgage Schaumburg traffic lawyer personal injury lawyer Illinois boating accident lawyer privacy Illinois jet ski accident lawyer Crystal Lake insurance lawyer Palatine law firm Illinois traffic attorneys pay when paid contract BAC overtime pay Palatine real estate lawyer Illinois Transfer on Death Instrument Rolling Meadows car accident lawyers residential real estate Crystal Lake traffic lawyer Illinois Wage Payment and Collection Act Barrington civil litigation attorney car accident Barrington Illinois estate planning lawyer dram shop law Fourth of July problem employees Mt Prospect Attorney filing a medical malpractice claim Illinois employment law attorneys work unions insurance dispute attorney no contest clauses employee discrimination Crystal Lake injury attorney estate tax loopholes Palatine employment attorney Home Remodeling Repair Act drugs Illinois personal injury attorney bicycle accidents Crystal Lake employment law attorney Illinois insurance claim attorney Illinois business law atorneys Des Plaines real estate attorney in terrorem provision rollover car crashes life insurance policy deed transfer hands free device FMLA drunk driving statistics Barrington boating accident attorney Rolling Meadows criminal attorney CAM FSLA denial of life insurance Schaumburg insurance lawyers trust payments criminal Class A misdemeanor car accidents Schaumburg wrongful death attorney holiday statistics Affordable Care Act Palatine corporate attorney startup company employment lawyer Illinois living will digital media accounts, estate planning, Arlington Heights estate planning attorney, insurance claim denials Illinois home inspection Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act preventable medical errors Rolling Meadows estate planning attorney Illinois workers compensation lawyer car collision Chicago lawyer Long Grove estate planning federal crimes Palatine civil litigation lawyer Palatine criminal defense lawyer federal regulations for LLCs employment law, meal breaks, rest breaks, hotel employees, Des Plaines employment law attorneys insurance agent negligence Barrington estate planning lawyer Deer Park criminal attorney Buffalo Grove personal injury attorney Attorney Ken Apicella civil litigation Rolling Meadows insurance attorney Rolling Meadows traffic law firm traffic crimes involuntary manslaughter Arlington Heights personal injury lawyer