Many times in life one has to accept that there are things he or she cannot control. This is why many people in Maryland shy away from pursing estate plans. However, unlike what some may believe, planning an estate does not have to be about losing control of one's assets or finances if an irrevocable trust is utilized.
Commonly, estate planning strategies involve giving up control of assets and various other aspects of one's financial life. Often people are advised to gift their homes to their intended beneficiaries for various reasons, such as maintaining Medicaid eligibility. This keeps the value of the home from being factored into eligibility calculations. However, the problem is that the person no longer legally owns the home and, therefore, cannot do with the home as he or she wishes.
On the other hand, there are estate planning options available that allow a person to maintain control of his or her assets, including his or her home. An irrevocable trust can allow a person to maintain control of assets, while also allowing him or her to pre-plan for the future. Many fear that if they appoint trustees to their irrevocable trusts that they will lose control. This is not the case. The owner of an irrevocable trust can change his or her appointed trustee at any time, which allows the trust owner to maintain control.
Therefore, an irrevocable trust may be an ideal choice for Maryland residents who wish to plan for their futures without losing control of their assets. As with any legal decision that can have long-term ramifications, those considering irrevocable trusts should be clear on their options and understand how the formation of trusts can impact their financial situations. For clarity, they may seek guidance from a legal professional.
Source: Forbes, "Never Give Up Control When You Create Your Estate Plan", Mark Eghrari, Nov. 13, 2014