Oakbrook and Chicago Trust Lawyer

alt='best estate planning attorneys in Chicago'
Best Estate Planning Attorneys in the
Chicago area, Illinois, 2024
The Illinois Electronic Commerce Security Act authorized the use of virtual signings for your essential estate plan, Living Trust, Health Care Power, and Financial Power of Attorney documents. All documents can be delivered to you and you can sign in the comfort and safety of your home, via electronic conference. We are authorized to supply all witnesses and notary. Of course you are also welcome to sign your documents traditionally, in person in our Oakbrook Terrace offices. 

What is a Living Trust?

A Living Trust is an estate plan that manages your assets during your lifetime. Your Trust then efficiently and inexpensively passes your estate to your chosen beneficiaries after death. A Living Trust is also called an “Intervivos Trust” or “Revocable Trust.”

Our experience with Tom Tuohy was five stars, from the moment that we walked into his office and meeting his staff and then talking to Tom it felt like we were with friends. My wife and I have been wanting to get our estate planning done for many years, and we were happy that we found Tuohy Law to have it completed finally. Thank You. ” –George Zaccagnini

What is Probate?

A legal process in the court system is designed to control and protect your estate if you are incapacitated or after your death.

By law, no one can sign your name. Therefore, if you acquire a disability, your name can only be signed using a previously executed Financial Power of Attorney. After your death, your name can only be signed by an Executor whom the Probate Court authorizes.

Your Financial Power of Attorney is revoked by operation of law at your death. Consequently, a Probate Estate must be opened if you have assets in your name after your death, such as title to real estate or financial institution accounts. Now, a judge must approve an Executor to administer your estate.

Last Will and Testament does not avoid Probate. A Will is your wish for an Executor to handle your estate and ensure your beneficiaries receive your property after your death. A Will must be filed in Probate court. Then, a Probate Court judge appoints your Executor to sign your name and distribute your property.

What is Probate?

If you become incapacitated and when you die, your estate is subject to Probate. Probate is a court system that handles every person’s estate with assets in their name. The system also supervises the administration and distribution of your estate upon your death.

What is wrong with Probate?

Probate is costly, takes a long time, and because of the number of cases in the system, it is inefficient and burdens families. The Probate system cannot handle the estate of every person. If you have not made other provisions and acquired a disability, your assets are subject to the control of the Probate court.

Your family must care for you under the direction of the court system. If you die with assets in your name, and the total collective value of your assets exceeds $100,000, your entire estate is subject to the complete Probate process.

Probate requires a minimum six-month claims period, and the entire process can take an average of 18 months to two years or more to complete

How can a Living Trust avoid Probate?

A properly drafted, signed, and fully funded Living Trust avoids Probate by removing assets from your name and titling them in your private Living Trust.

You title all your assets, except vehicles, recreational vehicles, watercraft, aircraft, and specific business interests, to the name of your Living Trust. The administration of your Trust is private and efficient and administered by your Successor Trustee, often one of your family members or a trusted friend. Importantly, your Successor Trustee can be a beneficiary of the Living Trust.

Notably, the process could take only weeks or as long as it takes to transfer your assets to your beneficiaries.

What legal documents are in a Living Trust?

A complete Living Trust estate plan should include a Living Trust, a Last Will and Testament (often referred to as a Pour-Over Will, which acts as a safety net for any assets not titled in your name at your death), a Financial Power of Attorney, and a Health Care Power of Attorney.

Is a Living Trust expensive?

No. For example, a Living Trust estate plan is inexpensive with the advantage of technology and a competent attorney. A complete Living Trust, with Power of Attorney documents and a Will, is secured for a fee comparable to what you would pay for a basic estate plan. Moreover, you would avoid the potential thousands of dollars in Probate costs and burden on your family.

What are the other advantages of a Living Trust?

Some of the many advantages of a Living Trust estate plan:

  • Avoids Probate
  • Protects you in the event of your disability
  • Organize lifetime management of your assets
  • Contains specific instructions for inheritance
  • Protects the wishes of the first spouse to die
  • It avoids the perils of joint tenancy
  • Protects against loss of benefits or government reimbursement if a beneficiary acquires a disability before your death.
  • Includes assets in all states and avoids multiple-state Probate
  • It contains a No-Contest clause
  • Provides creditor protection for beneficiaries
  • Is revocable
  • Amended easily
  • It is readily adapted to the laws of another state in the event you move.

How can you obtain a Living Trust?

If you live in Illinois, consult an experienced Chicago Living Trust lawyer.

Tom Tuohy has prepared over 5,000 Living Trust estate plans and will personally prepare your documents and handle your signing in our Oakbrook Terrace office. 

Further, you can download the planning forms below, with a detailed brochure, and schedule a consultation for assistance with your planning decisions if desired.

Our office is conveniently located, with free parking. Before or after your appointment, you can dine in one of the many restaurants in the area or shop down the block at Oakbrook Mall. You can also choose to sign electronically via Zoom teleconference.

Nearly every client who has completed their Living Trust estate plan expresses a sense of relief that they finally took care of this important family protection. It has been common to think about this for years. Now is the time to think about getting it done.

“Oh my God, I just left Tuohy Law Offices. I feel so good about the LIVING TRUST I just opened for my son. I think everyone who has underage children should have a Living Trust. Call Tom Tuohy today and have the stress lifted off your shoulders because you’ve done the right thing for your child. Don’t procrastinate! Do it today. I did.”—Marilyn Montgomery.

Estate Planning Information

Download Now

Asset Inventory Form

Download Now

Estate Planning Brochure

Download Now


You should store your Living Trust, Power of Attorney, and estate plan documents in a secure and easily accessible location. Therefore, we recommend and offer our clients our 50% client discount with the American Bar Association-sponsored MYLO, Mind Your Loved One’s app so they can immediately access their essential documents 24/7.

MYLO makes storage, retrieval, and sharing convenient. Data entry is fast and easy – MYLO uses drop-down menus, photos, document uploads, and verbal and text entry. Learn more about MYLO:

Please click these links for detailed information regarding Power of Attorney, Last Will & Testament, and Probate.

Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship until we acknowledge receipt and verify our client-attorney relationship in writing.