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Control of Assets, and Durable Power of Attorney.

In reference to a common misconception, many people worry that transferring their assets to a Living Trust–assets such as their homes and bank accounts–negatively affects, or even eliminates the control they have over those assets. This is entirely false. While transferring your house deed to the trust requires that the deed contain name of the trust rather than your own individual name, the case being similar with other assets, you also establish yourself as Trustee of the trust. This means that all assets contained in your Living Trust continue under your full control. The only difference between this situation and that in which all your assets were under you name is the protection now added to those assets, as provided by the Living Trust.

Following your death, this control over the assets will pass, at least temporarily, into the hands of your chosen successor Trustee. The difference in this case, however, is that the trust is now irrevocable. While in your life you are free to change the parameters of the trust, after you pass away the Trust can no longer be changed. The successor Trustee will be required to obey the established parameters, including those regarding the distribution of the assets to the appropriate beneficiaries. If this Trustee fails to obey the parameters, they can be held responsible before the court and removed if necessary, a power often maintained by the beneficiaries or other alternate successor trustees.

Finally, the importance of a Durable Power of Attorney, as related to this subject, should be noted. While the Living Trust allows you the capacity to control your assets while in life, and provides for a successor Trustee following your death, a Durable Power of Attorney provides for someone to manage your assets in the case of incapacity during life. It gives them the authority to make financial decisions in your behalf and control you economic interests.

Schedule an appointment with a trusted Attorney at Celaya Law today to discuss what options you have and your next steps.


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