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


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