Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
Is your husband still alive?I am assuming if he is alive, that his will is such that he is happy with its contents?
Unfortunately, in Illinois, a trust is not required to be filed with the recorder of wills. Therefore, it is almost impossible to find out when and if a trust has been opened or closed. As you know, a trust is normally set up to avoid federal inheritance tax complications. Instead of keeping properties in an individual's name, you put it into the name of the trust so that it becomes a "person" who in essence does not die. The property can be in the trust's name in perpetuity until such time as the trust is closed and the assets distributed.
In essence, anyone can open up a trust and put anyone's name on it. However, the name does not condo Tate ownership. The only owner of the trust would be those listed in the trust as beneficiaries. I could open a trust and put it in your name which really would not mean anything. It is almost the same as what to call a company or LLC.
It is very odd for someone to open up a multitude of trusts. From an attorney standpoint, it is a fairly complicated and detailed process that I certainly would not suggest a non-attorney try to complete. However, it looks like this person has one in the family.
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If a trust was made, no matter the name of it, then real property would have been put into the name of the trust, not the individual. That is the reason to make a trust, so that it would last beyond anyone's life. If they put the house in your husband's name, then it could not be removed without his signature. The first part theoretically would not be legal, the second part would be forgery and would be illegal.I do not think that setting up of this trust can hurt you or your husband.
It may sound somewhat crazy, but I understand. I have seen all sorts of stuff both honestly done and unfortunately dishonest. I sympathize with your concern.
I would certainly suggest that the both of you have wills done. They only take a short amount of time and are important.
I wish I had a better answer to explain her actions. I simply can not fathom why she would do this. If properly open and funded they would be in her control arguably but naming after your husband makes no sense. As I try to tell my clients when some one acting irrationally, acting rationally never works. But going along with the irrational is not an option either.
All I can suggest is to keep your distance and make any communications in writing so that there is a paper trail to protect yourself.