In 1887, Illinois passed the General Trust Company Act, which granted qualified corporations
the right to act as executor, administrator, guardian and trustee, and as fiduciary in other
capacities. In that same year the Handy firm was succeeded by the Title Guarantee and Trust
Co., which qualified as a trust company under the new act.
Thus, Chicago Title and Trust Co. derives its trust powers by succession from the first trust
company authorized under the General Trust Company Act of 1887.
First Title Policy
In 1888 came another action giving Chicago real estate owners a new and far more complete
protection of their titles to real estate. The Title Guarantee and Trust Co. issued the first
title guarantee policy in Illinois, protecting the owner against loss if the title as
guaranteed was found invalid.
It was a new kind of protection, more commonly known today as real estate title insurance. To
Chicago it brought a new element of stability in property ownership. Now, since titles were
insured, Chicagoans needed no longer fear that the ghost of a former owner would rise out of
the past to threaten the ownership of their homes or businesses. Loans were more available
to property buyers and home builders, and Chicago's growth was given a new impetus. The
company was now settled on Washington Street between Dearborn and Clark streets, where it and
its successors were to be until 1947. Three years later, in 1891, the name of the company was
changed to Chicago Title and Trust Co.
In 1887, the Handy firm was succeeded by the Title Guarantee and Trust Co.,
which early the next year issued the state's first title guarantee policy. Property owners
could now purchase insurance to guard their interests if their titles were found to be imperfect.