Why your estate plan needs a certificate of trust

On Behalf of | Oct 5, 2021 | Trusts

Living trusts are important to estate planning. They’re used to protect assets and to avoid probate. Trusts offer many tax benefits, establishing your loved ones’ financial security in Illinois. But to fully understand the potential of a trust you need to have an understanding of the certificate of trust.

The purpose of the certificate of trust

A certificate of trust validates your living trust AND reiterates the named authority’s legal standing as your representative. The certificate is shorter than the trust.

Appointment of a trustee

The creator of the trust appoints a person, persons, or entities to manage their affairs. A certificate reinforces the decisions. If no one’s appointed, or the appointee is no longer available, or the trustee shows a lack of ability to manage the trust, a judge may step in to replace the trustee.

This would be unfortunate. The whole point of estate planning is to not involve the court in your affairs.

It might be a good idea to have your certificate of trust name alternatives in case any first choice becomes unavailable for any reason. Otherwise, your estate may end up on a docket, and the immediate action your trust allows becomes moot.

The Illinois certificate of trust laws

Each state has its laws pertaining to its region. It’s important to know the laws in the Prairie State. It’s also critical if you have assets in other states. Those areas may require you to use their mandates regarding your assets as states can apply their statutes. And someone might use the statutes to argue against your wishes.


A trust is a smart move. It protects loved ones, your assets and your legacy. But you shouldn’t have a living trust without a certificate of trust. The latter ensures all the hard work you put into your trust is legally safeguarded.