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Who can be a beneficiary of the land trust?

Any person or entity that can legally enter into a contract can be the beneficiary of a land trust. That includes, individuals, partnerhships, joint ventures, limited liability companies, corporations, 401(k) Plans, and living trusts.

I want to leave my beneficial interest to my niece on my death. How do I do that?

You would use language similar to the following when setting up the trust ownership: Jane Doe as to one hundred percent (100%) and upon her death to Molly R. Doe. This will insure that the beneficial interest goes to your niece, Molly, if she survives you, and this will occur without the necessity of probate.

How do I change the contingent beneficiary or beneficiaries on my existing land trust?

You would need to make a simple amendment to the trust. A form to do so can be found in the forms section of this web site.

Do I have to pay a yearly fee?

Yes. We charge a modest yearly fee to perform the duties of trustee. Even if there is no activity in your trust during the year, you still have the protection of the land trust 24 hours a day 365 days a year.

May a nonresident of Illinois be the beneficiary of a land trust?

Yes. One of the main reasons nonresidents use a land trust to hold title to land in Illinois is to avoid the time and expense of probate. As an example, Joe has lived most of his life in Illinois but when he retired he moved to Florida. He still has a piece of commercial property in Illinois which he wants to leave to his children when he dies. Being a pretty alert fellow, years ago Joe had a will drawn which leaves the commercial property to his children. Joe thinks he's got the situation pretty well covered, but what Joe is forgetting or doesn't realize is that now that he is a resident of Florida his estate will be probated in Florida. This means that because the commercial property is in Illinois the children will also need to open a probate estate in Illinois and hire (and pay) an Illinois attorney. Certainly not the result Joe would want if he thought about it. Joe can protect himself and his heirs by placing title to the commerical property in a land trust and naming his children as contingent beneficiaries. When Joe's time comes, his children will automatically control the property and there will be no need for probate in Illinois.

Must I be a resident of the United States to be the beneficiary of an Illinois land trust?

No, and that is another benefit of a land trust. Your mother in India can own property the title to which is held in an Illinois land trust. She can grant you, her daughter, the power of direction to manage the property. She might also want to leave the property to you and your brother on her death. This is also simply and easily done through a land trust.

How do I take the property out of the land trust?

You issue a letter of direction to the trustee to convey the property back to you.

More Info On Land Trusts