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How to Find the Best Trust Attorneys in Chicago: A Complete Guide

— April 11, 2024

Hopefully, the process seems simpler now, and you’re on your way to finding trust attorneys in Chicago you can rely on. 

Chicago, with its world-famous law schools, has no shortage of attorneys. In fact, according to a recent count, there are 94,907 lawyers licensed to practice in Illinois. There are numerous trust attorneys in Chicago, Illinois, which gives people in the Windy City plenty of options for their estate planning needs — all they need to do is narrow down the options. 

Avoid rushing and take small steps to find your go-to legal professional. Then, after you find the best trust attorney in Chicago for your needs, you can sit back and relax while they handle the heavy lifting. 

Trusts need to be specific, and a lot goes into creating them — you shouldn’t have to worry about all that! A trust helps ensure that a person’s assets are managed according to their specific requests. These can include money or possessions allotted to loved ones, donations to charities, the creation of scholarship funds, and more. 

Making the big decisions is for you. Dealing with the paperwork, legal processes, tax laws, and everything else shouldn’t be a source of stress. That’s where a Chicago trust lawyer comes in. 

Ask Chicago Locals You Know Personally

Even if you’re not close with any Chicago locals (maybe you’re relatively new to the area), chances are there are still at least a couple of people who would be willing to give recommendations for trust lawyers nearby. 

For instance, if you hired a local real estate agent to help you buy a home in the city, that is a good person to ask first. Other sources might include your doctor, co-workers, or a neighbor. 

Ask for Advice on Social Media

One thing we love about Chicagoans is that they tell it like it is. If you ask for advice on social media, such as in local neighborhood groups or forums, locals might tell you which legal consultant is worth your time and which to avoid. While you’ll want to do more research online after getting a referral from an acquaintance, asking publicly can at least give you some suggestions to research further.

The more information, the better. That way, you can easily evaluate which trust attorney gets mentioned repeatedly. These should be the ones you focus on researching first.

Check for Award-Winning Lawyers

Our friends and family want to do right by us with their recommendations, but sometimes, we want an expert opinion. The organization Super Lawyers is a prestigious and highly-regarded organization that evaluates lawyers across a range of specialties. They use a patented 12-category system to name the best lawyers of that year. 

Check out a potential firm’s website for the Super Lawyers award icons. You might look for some specific to the state of Illinois, those in the category of Estate & Trust Litigation, or those won personally by members of the practice. Winning the title of Super Lawyer in Estate & Trust Litigation is rare — only about 2.5% of litigators take home that prize a year. 

You can also read reviews from the firm, like from Google reviews, the Better Business Bureau®, and many more. Don’t forget to look at a trust attorney’s website for client testimonials. These reviews from happy clients can speak volumes. 

See What Other Services a Firm Offers

Lawyer working on his computer; image by August de Richelieu, via
Lawyer working on his computer; image by August de Richelieu, via

Those looking for Chicago trust law firms might also appreciate a few other services. If you’re looking for someone to help you draw up a trust in Illinois, consider a firm that offers a range of services. 

Maybe you need an Illinois lawyer like who can also advise you on aspects of elder law (like estate planning, provisions for long-term care, and avoiding financial exploitation). Or perhaps you have questions about guardianship, including different guardianship types, the process of establishing guardianship, and guardianship-related transactions. While you’re setting up a trust, a well-versed lawyer could also provide information on probate or writing a will. 

Schedule Consultations

Setting appointments with several Chicago trust attorneys is a perfect opportunity to learn more about each prospect. Use each consultation as a chance to let them know what you need. Consider waiting until after all the consultations are complete before making a final decision about which trust attorneys in Chicago to hire.

Consider it an interview process. Ask different questions, such as how long they have been at their firm and what their rates are. Finish up with how often they provide updates. Pay close attention to how the trust attorney answers your in-person questions. They should be able to explain complex legal jargon in an easily understandable way. 

One note here: Some consultations require a fee, while others are free. If you’re meeting with several trust attorneys and are paying a fee for each one, that can get costly. While you want to meet with attorneys who best match your qualifications, consider starting with researching those who offer free consultations. 

Wrapping Up on the Best Chicago Trust Attorneys Guide

Finding a reliable Chicago trust attorney is achievable and necessary. Begin researching trust attorneys today in the Windy City to give yourself plenty of time. Hopefully, the process seems simpler now, and you’re on your way to finding trust attorneys in Chicago you can rely on. 

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