Different Types of Trusts are Available in Chicago

meeting on trust word by wooden block letters on white paper background

Trusts are essential tools in estate planning, offering a variety of benefits such as asset protection, tax efficiency, and control over the distribution of assets. At Berardi and Associates, LLC, we understand the importance of selecting the right type of trust to suit your specific needs. In Chicago, several types of trusts are available to meet different needs and objectives. Whether you are looking to protect your assets, reduce tax liability, or ensure your wishes are followed after your passing, there is a trust designed to achieve your goals.

Revocable Trusts

A revocable trust, also known as a living trust, allows the grantor to maintain control over the trust assets during their lifetime. The terms of the trust can be modified, and the trust can be dissolved at any time. This flexibility makes revocable trusts a popular choice for estate planning.

Benefits of Revocable Trusts:

  • Control: The grantor retains control over the assets and can make changes as needed.
  • Avoidance of Probate: Assets in a revocable trust pass directly to the beneficiaries, bypassing the probate process.
  • Privacy: Trusts are not public records, so the details of the estate remain private.

Irrevocable Trusts

Unlike revocable trusts, irrevocable trusts cannot be altered or revoked once established. The grantor transfers all ownership of the assets into the trust, relinquishing control. This type of trust is often used for tax planning and asset protection.

Benefits of Irrevocable Trusts:


  • Tax Benefits: Assets in an irrevocable trust are removed from the grantor’s taxable estate, potentially reducing estate taxes.
  • Asset Protection: Creditors cannot reach the assets in an irrevocable trust, offering protection against lawsuits and claims.
  • Medicaid Planning: Assets in an irrevocable trust may not be counted towards Medicaid eligibility.

Living Trusts

A living trust is created during the grantor’s lifetime and can be either revocable or irrevocable. This trust allows the grantor to use the assets during their lifetime and specify how they should be distributed after death. Living trusts ensure smooth management of assets if the grantor becomes incapacitated. They avoid the probate process, allowing for quicker distribution of assets. Additionally, they provide the grantor with the ability to manage and modify the trust as needed.

Testamentary Trusts

A testamentary trust is created through a will and only takes effect upon the grantor’s death. It is often used to manage assets for beneficiaries who may not be able to manage the inheritance themselves, such as minor children. Testamentary trusts allow the grantor to dictate how assets are managed and distributed after their death. They can provide for the care and financial support of minor children or other dependents and are customizable to fit the specific needs of the beneficiaries.

Charitable Trusts

Charitable trusts are established to benefit a charitable organization or cause. They provide a way to support a charity while also receiving tax benefits. Charitable trusts enable the grantor to support causes they care about, offer an immediate tax deduction for the value of the assets placed in the trust, and can reduce the size of the taxable estate, potentially lowering estate taxes.

Special Needs Trusts

Special needs trusts are designed to provide for a disabled beneficiary without jeopardizing their eligibility for government benefits such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI). These trusts ensure that the beneficiary can continue to receive government assistance. They provide for the specific needs of the disabled beneficiary, enhancing their quality of life, and offer professional management of the trust assets to ensure they are used appropriately.

Spendthrift Trusts

A spendthrift trust restricts the beneficiary’s access to the trust principal, protecting the assets from being squandered or claimed by creditors. This type of trust is useful for beneficiaries who may not be financially responsible. Spendthrift trusts shield the trust assets from the beneficiary’s creditors, ensure that the trust assets are managed and distributed responsibly, and provide a steady income stream to the beneficiary without giving them direct control over the principal.

Exploring Your Trust Options

Understanding the different types of trusts available in Chicago is essential for effective estate planning. Each trust type offers unique benefits and can be tailored to meet specific goals, whether it’s protecting assets, providing for loved ones, or supporting charitable causes. At Berardi and Associates, LLC, we provide comprehensive legal support to help you choose and establish the right trust for your needs. Our experienced Chicago estate planning attorneys are ready to guide you through the process and ensure your assets are protected and your wishes are honored. To learn more about the full range of legal services we offer, visit Our Services. Contact us today to learn more about how a trust attorney in Chicago can assist you in creating a trust that aligns with your estate planning goals.