Not the easiest thing to do in such a small column, However, combined with the information I am sending you, this should be a good start. A trust agreement is a document in which someone (the Grantor or Trustor) creates a trust and appoints a trustee to manage property placed into the trust. The usual purpose of the trust is to benefit persons or charities named by the Grantor as beneficiaries of the trust. A trustee is a person, or institution, who accepts the duty of caring for property for the benefit of another. The Trustor is the creator of a trust. If a decedent was a Grantor (or Settlor) of a trust, then he was probably managing the trust, as Trustee, during his lifetime. The document should name someone as Successor Trustee to manage the trust now that the Grantor is deceased. The trust document may instruct the Successor Trustee to make certain gifts once the Grantor dies, or perhaps hold money in trust for a beneficiary of the trust. Trusts are directed according to the Illinois Trust and Trustee Act (760 ILCS 5/11). One needn’t be wealthy to establish a trust, and trusts are generally created to ensure distribution, control, and (possible) tax advantages to both the Grantor and Beneficiaries.

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