What Happens to an Unfunded Trust?

Web Admin - Wednesday, June 11, 2014

illinois unfunded trust lawyerPreparing estate planning documents is a key step in ensuring that a person’s final wishes are respected throughout the probate process, and a recent survey shows that the majority of Americans understand this fact. However, when setting up a trust, preparing the documents does not finish the process. If the person who sets up the trust fails to properly transfer their assets into it, it can become an underfunded or unfunded trust. This lack of proper funding can lead to a failure of a person’s estate plan, and also increases the potential for disputes throughout the process of probating the estate.

What an Unfunded Trust Is

A trust is a legal construction that involves a settlor, a trustee, and a beneficiary. The settlor creates the trust and transfers assets into it. The trustee manages the assets in the trust and they do so with the best interests of the beneficiary in mind. The drafting of the trust instrument is a key part of this process. That document will outline many of the legal rights and responsibilities of the trustee and the beneficiary, and it can provide instructions for the trustee to follow.

Many people think that once they draft the trust document, the process is complete and the trustee will be able to carry out their desires. This is not the case. The person will also need to legally transfer the assets to the trust. Without doing so, the trustee may not actually be able to control the assets and distribute them in accordance with the settlor’s instructions.

The Consequences of Improper Trust Funding

Improper trust funding can lead to disputes between heirs throughout the probate process. This is because if the settlor does not properly fund the trust the trustee has no legal authority to carry out the wishes of the settlor. Instead, the assets would pass through any will that the settlor left behind, or they may pass through right of survivorship, the default way that courts distribute assets. This means that the beneficiaries of the trust may end up in a legal battle with the heirs listed in the will over their rights to the assets.

Additionally, even if the settlor did not leave a will and there are no disputes, the assets will still need to go through the state probate process to be distributed. This can lengthen the amount of time it takes to wind down a person’s affairs and tends to be a less convenient process than if the trust had been properly funded.

If you are thinking about how best to carry out your final wishes, seek out an Illinois estate planning attorney for help. Our skilled team of lawyers helps clients in northwest suburban towns like Mount Prospect, Arlington Heights, and Schaumburg understand their estate planning options and create the best plan for themselves.

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.

Recent Posts


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