Because you must transfer assets to the name of your trust for it to be effective, often people wonder – am I losing any control by transferring my house and my bank accounts into my trust?
Your Trust is a Vehicle
Your trust is designed as a vehicle with you in the driver’s seat. You choose the destination, the contents of the trunk, and even who will drive with you (your spouse for example). If you don’t like your vehicle, you can upgrade it, change it, or even get rid of it completely.
You’re In the Driver’s Seat
You are in charge of your trust as the trustee. Because you created the trust, you have complete authority to change it by amendments. Or you can pull all of the assets out of the trust, and revoke it entirely.
You Choose the Contents
You also choose what assets will go into the trust. It is important to put the right assets in the trust, because there are assets, like life insurance and retirement plans, for example that you may not want to have go through the trust. It is also important to put your assets into the trust properly, because if they are not, those assets are exposed to probate.
You Choose the Destination
Just as important as what is in your trust, is the question of to whom it will go. With a trust, you have a lot of flexibility and power to decide how and when your chosen beneficiaries will receive your assets.
You Choose the Passengers
You also choose who can serve with you as co-trustee and who will serve as trustee in the event you become incapacitated. If you’re in an accident that leaves you laid up for several months, or have a medical condition that leaves you disabled, a trust and your incapacity documents let you choose who can make those important financial and medical decisions when you can’t.
So do you lose control? No, you have the same control as you did before you put the assets in the trust, plus, the trust has given you control over the future.
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