very decision you make, whether personal, financial, or legal, should be designed to maximize your control over your decisions – and your assets. Don’t give up control; you will never be glad you did.

One part of estate planning is determining who will control your assets when you are gone. But what about when you are still alive?

If you have earned your own wealth, then the last thing you want to do is turn that wealth over to someone else while you are still living and competent to handle the wealth. However, sometimes people do exactly that with their estate planning choices.

For example, people will often give a family home to a child or name the child as the joint owner in an effort to avoid probate.

Bad idea.

As Forbespoints out in a recent article titled Never Give Up Control When You Create Your Estate Plan,” when someone does that, they lose control of the home. If they want to do anything with it, they will need permission and can be denied.

The article also points out that many people are afraid to get a trust and name someone besides themselves as the trustees. Why? Because they think they will lose control of the assets in the trust.

This might be the case if the trust is some form downloaded from the Internet, but such is not the case with a properly drafted trust. If the trustee is not doing what you want, you can fire the trustee and appoint someone else.

When creating your estate plan, talk to your estate planning attorney about control. Ask who will be in control of each estate planning vehicle.

If control is important to you, make sure that you are the one who keeps it!

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