Just a quick response from one who formerly practiced law (rather proudly stating that this is FORMERLY - take it as you will) First, I am not familiar with the inheritance or trust laws of Illinois, so you really do need to talk to a local attorney. to protect YOU and ME, I want to be very clear - this is not legal advice, nor shold you take it as such - it is just general info on the topic, to achieve your goals, you MUST TALK TO A LAWYER AND HAVE HIM OR HER DRTAW UP A WILL WITH TRUST PROVISIONS. The more you think through these issues, the less time you will have to spend with the lawyer and the more you will have to pass to your nieces and nephews etc. In general you can set up a trust for the benefit of whomever you wish and name whomever you wish as trustees. Banks are the worst choice, IMHO. Most lawyers are a close second in the race to the bottom. Family members, lifelong friends and the like are the best option, as they are most likely to have the kids' interests at heart and not be so interested in depleting the money in the trust. You will also have to think clearly about what is to happen to the money in the trust if the kids decide to skip school. You also have to make very important decisions as to what freedom the trustees will have in making investment decisions, as well as what happens to the money if there is something left after the kids finish school. Trustees generally have very limited decision making power in the sense that they have to be ultrconservative or else they can be liable - YOU CAN CHANGE THIS in the trust document itself (once again - gnerally IL may be different) YOU can also state what kinds of things may be "reasonable expenses" - a car to get to and from school? a related educational trip? a few bucks for spring break? YOU CAN DECIDEchanges to wills can be made through a codicil. A separate document attached to the will. DO NOT BE SLOW TO CHANGE YOUR WILL - either through drafting a new one or a codicil. If you do not and the rest of your family holds your husband in the same high regard you hold your ex-sister in law don't you think that just maybe there is a chance that there could be a bit of a fight where there would be attorneys who have to represent all the players, with a vigorous and intense level of advocacy - at least until the estate has been transfered to the lawyers through fees, leaving everyone else with only a bitter and nasty feeling about each other and the lawyers? the only Foolish thing to do is think about all of this, make YOUR OWN DECISIONS, state them clearly in you will and leave the legislature, bankers and lawyers out of it to the greatest extent possible sorry for the length of this post
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