Estate Planning Myth: “I’ll lose control of my property…”

July 8, 2013 - Posted by: admin - In category:

taxes - No Responses

Losing control of property is a genuine concern for some people when they consider the topic of estate planning.  However, the reality is that when using a qualified estate planning attorney, the vast majority of the time a person who undertakes to establish and maintain a proper estate plan will retain total control of their assets, while at the same time building in vital protections and safe-guards for themselves, their loved-ones and their property.

If setting up an estate plan required a person to then give away control over their property, who would want to undertake such a thing?  Locking up all of your valuable items into a safe, putting some chains around the safe and then throwing into the ocean…not a good idea.  What good are valuable assets if you don’t have access to use and enjoy the same?  No, this type of “planning” is unappealing and just plain silly.  Thankfully, a qualified estate planning attorney would never engage in this type of planning without BOTH: (a) a REALLY good reason; and (b) direct instructions from the client that this would fulfill the client’s clear intentions (after the client was informed of all consequences of such actions).

On the other hand, the typical revocable living trust gives invaluable protection to the clients (normally husband and wife), including the protection against probate of their property upon their death, while at the same time, permitting said clients to revise and even revoke their trust at any time.  Think of a revocable living trust as a building that is constructed to keep and protect property.  Husband and wife hold the keys to this protective building and can decide what goes into and out of this building.  While it is wise to keep the property in the protective building unless and until it is needed for use, the important reality is that husband and wife have the legal right and ability to put items in and take them out as much as they desire.  Again, when properly established and maintained, a revocable living trust gives important protection to people and property, but also permits trustors (people who establish the trust and put property in the same) to retain control and dominion of their property.

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