Personal trusts are typically used as part of an estate plan to protect current and future generations from the costs and burdens of a court-supervised estate (probate).
The table below lists several of the services offered by ATG Trust Company. Click the name of each to view a description.
To create an estate plan tailored to your particular needs, contact your attorney to discuss what is right for you.
These specialized tools are used to plan for estate taxes, business protection, and a wide variety of other needs. Changes in the law and creative planning by attorneys that specialize in these areas have greatly enhanced the flexibility of these trusts so that they can act as a fortress to protect assets---yet have the ability to be amended as situations change. Your attorney is the best source of information about these powerful planning tools.
These trusts are usually established for beneficiaries who face challenges that may require them to rely on government assistance but may also have needs that go beyond what those programs provide. Careful and cautious management of these funds is imperative to ensure compliance with the complex and always changing rules that surround governmental programs, including Medicaid and other public sector agencies. ATG Trust has extensive experience in these matters.
This is a general explanation of land trusts. For more detailed information, visit the Land Trusts page.
These trusts can hold residential, commercial, personal, or investment property.
What are the advantages of holding title in a land trust through ATG Trust?
- Ownership: Beneficiary retains control of the property while maintaining privacy of ownership.
- Probate Avoidance: A land trust is a low-cost alternative to a living trust.
- Judgment to Lien Protection: Liens against the beneficiary do not attach to real estate held in a land trust.
- Convenience: Land trusts make it easier to transfer interests or to use the property as collateral.
How does it work?
The current owners deed the property into the land trust, naming a trustee such as ATG Trust Company, and perhaps a beneficiary or succession of beneficiaries, much like they would for an insurance policy or retirement account.
The trust agreement, a long standing form that is generally the same throughout Illinois, will name holder of the “beneficial interest,” usually the owners deeding property but not limited to that. The trust is there to protect the beneficiary from most public records searches other than those allowed by law to governmental agencies.
The owners will also name someone, perhaps themselves or others, as the holder of a “power of direction” allowing them to act on behalf of the trust for financing or other purposes.
The holder of the power of direction can be changed by the beneficiaries, and the beneficiary can also be changed. The land trust is a way of dealing with real estate as a financial asset, creating a flexible process to pass ownership to future generations, or implementing other planning ideas.
These are usually part of an overall estate plan where we may be asked to assist in the current or future management of retirement savings. While these are readily available accounts from an array of providers, including banks, insurance companies, and investment houses, we are unique in that we understand and have the experience in assisting clients and their advisers through the highly complex tax maze these accounts can create when moving from generation to generation. Our investment expertise is a valuable component of keeping the entire plan working in concert, both for retirement and non-retirement assets.
When an owner of funds is a minor who cannot make legal financial decisions or an adult who may have lost that capacity as determined by the court, we can assist as a professional Guardian. The Guardian is a court-appointed entity responsible for following the strict rules of the State of Illinois in protecting the assets of the Ward (the minor or disabled adult). Without a professional Guardian the court will require that a bond be posted. Often the fees for a professional Guardian are offset by the fact that the requirement of a bond is waived, because a professional Guardian will have capital, insurance, and proven expertise in these matters. We see Guardianships as an opportunity to give back to the community as these cases allow us to trust help individuals and their families navigate their financial lives in a structured, professional, and impartial manner.
When someone dies, whether leaving a Will or not, there may be assets in the deceased person’s name that have no beneficiary named (as there would be with a trust). To deliver these assets to the rightful heirs, someone must initiate and guide the estate through a court-supervised process known as probate. Under a Will, an Executor is named. If there is no Will, or if the named Executor is unwilling or unable to act, then an Administrator is appointed. This job is difficult for someone who has never done it in the past. We have the experience and knowledge to navigate these estates in a tax and investment environment that is always shifting. The probate process is often daunting and it is difficult to comply with the necessarily strict accounting and procedural rules that must be followed. We work closely with the estate attorney to ensure that all the required steps are taken to effectively and efficiently deliver the estate to the right people in a timely manner.
For more information, visit the IRC §1031 Tax Deferred Exchanges page.
For many of the other services noted above, ATG Trust may act as the agent on behalf of an individual, perhaps named as a trustee, guardian, executor or administrator. This is a way to have a family member, for example, at the helm---but also have the investment, tax, and accounting tools of a professional at his or her disposal. This often reduces costs and creates a mechanism to efficiently handle a complex financial matter while allowing the individual to continue to be in control of the important decisions and family relationships.