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A Living Trust is created when a property owner transfers assets to a trustee with the intent that the trustee holds the assets for the benefit of someone else. It a legal document that is created while the property owner is still alive. The trust document assigns a trustee, who is given responsibility to manage the person’s assets for the benefit of the beneficiary (or beneficiaries). The trustee holds legal possession of assets flowing into that trust.

A Living Trust is designed for ease of transfer of the trust creator (a.k.a. settlor) assets. The Living Trust bypasses the complex and expensive legal process of probate.

If a Living Trust is established with more than one beneficiary, there are two models that the trust may follow – Concurrent or Successive:

  • Concurrent Interest: A concurrent interest is when multiple beneficiaries gain access to the trust at once after the settlor has deceased.
  • Successive Interest: A successive interest is when the primary beneficiary gains access to the trust first, then the secondary beneficiary gains access to the trust after the primary beneficiary terminates.


Unfortunately, there are times when the beneficiary needs legal support in cases such as when the trustee has breached the contract. Because of this, there are several legal remedies available to a beneficiary. Such legal remedies include:

  • Claims for damages
  • Injunction to restrain a breach
  • Tracing of trust property
  • Recovery of trust property

A beneficiary may be able to recover damages. Sometimes even from the trustee’s personal assets if necessary. If the trustee wrongfully disposes of trust property, the beneficiaries may be able to reclaim the property from a third party. The legal remedies for a breach of trust by a trustee are broad.


  • Settlor (a.k.a. Donor or Grantor): The person that initiates creation of the trust and adds assets to the trust.
  • Trustee: The person in charge of the trust. The trustee executes the will of the Settlor.
  • Beneficiary: The person (or group) that receives the assets of the trust.
  • Concurrent: Simultaneous. Occurring at the same time.
  • Successive: Consecutive. Occurring in an order.

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Williams, Williams, & Bembenek P.C. is fully licensed Central Illinois law firm equipped to provide you with all the Estate Planning services you need for peace of mind. The law firm has provided guardianship and conservatorship for their clients in the Peoria Tri-County and surrounding areas for over 50 years.

While no one wants to think about their own death or disability, creating an estate plan is one of the most important steps you can take to protect your money and family finances. Proper estate planning puts you in charge of your finances and can also relieve your loved ones of the expenses, delays and frustration that come with managing your financial affairs when you die or become disabled.

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