Law Office of Gary M. Moore - Wills & Trusts


Gary M. Moore, Attorney
-- Wills & Trusts --

The beginning of what you need to know about wills and trusts:
  1. Will. Document which states the individuals and organizations to receive property after testator's (will preparer's) death. Typically used to name guardian of minor or disabled children. Only affects property in the testator's own name or which may be payable to the person's "estate" upon person's death. Does not affect joint property, insurance which is not payable to insured's estate or property owned by a trust.
  2. Testate. A description of the estate of a person who died with a will.
  3. Intestate. Describes the estate of a person who dies without a will. The property division in an "intestate estate" under Illinois law is as follows:
    1. Spouse but no children. All to spouse.
    2. Children and no spouse. All to children in equal shares, with grandchilden receiving share of a deceased child.
    3. Children and spouse. 1/2 to spouse, 1/2 to children. Even if children are minors. This is my number 1 reason to have a will.
    (Other states will have different provisions. Remember, these provisions only apply to the property in the individual's own name who dies without a will.)
  4. Living Will. Statement in which person directs and authorizes physician to terminate "death-delaying procedures" in specific, near death circumstances.
  5. Trust. Agreement under which a person ("Grantor" or "Trustor" or "Trustmaker") establishes terms under which property will be owned for benefit of one or more persons. Key elements of a trust are:
    • Trustee - Persons or institutions having control and responsibility of trust assets.
    • Beneficiary - Persons or entities for whom trust income and principal are to be used according to the directions in the trust.
    • Corpus or Res. - The assets or property under the control of the trustee.
    A person may be the grantor, initial trustee and initial beneficiary of his own trust. Most revocable Living Trusts are set up with that scheme.
  6. Testamentary Trust. A trust established by the terms of a will. I often recommend a Children's Trust in wills for couples who may not have a current need for a Living Trust, but who may not have a current need for a Living Trust, but who may want a trustee to handle assets for their chldren if both parents died. The Children's Trust established is not in effect until the second parent dies. (If one parent dies, all of his property would go to the surviving spouse) and it would be considered a type of testamentary trust. Other property, such as life insurance, may be made payable to a testamentary trust.
  7. Living Trust. Same as a Grantor Trust, Intervivos Trust. A trust established by a document other than a will, and funded during the grantor's life. One feature of a living trust is that the trustee is to use the trust assets for the the grantor in the event the grantor becomes disabled. A Grantor trust will generally use the same social security number as the grantor/beneficiary during the beneficiary's life. A new number for tax purposes is obtained after the grantor's death.
  8. Estate Tax. A tax imposed by United States law on property owned or otherwise under the control of a person who dies. Assessed on the net value of the property. No tax unless net value exceeds $675,000.
  9. Gift Tax. Same as estate tax. Gifts over $10,000 per year per person are counted against a person's $675,000/$1 Million.
  10. Inheritance Tax. The federal estate tax is sometimes referred to as an inheritance tax. Illinois imposes a tax related to the estate tax which is called the inheritance tax. It is calculated based on the federal estate tax, and does not increase the amount of taxes paid upon death.
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Law Office of Gary M. Moore 535 S. Washington Street  Naperville, IL 60540 Phone:  (630)357-6966
     Email: Fax:  (630)357-1210

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