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Balance Ease of Administration with Control

In terms of leaving a legacy, there is more than one way to skin a cat. Your assets can pass through:

  • Will
  • Beneficiary Designations
  • Titling
  • Combination of the above 

You want to strike a balance between ease of administration and control. Where do you stand on the spectrum between "let them do with it as they may” vs. "I worked hard for these assets and I want to know they are not squandered”? Consider the maturity and sophistication of the intended beneficiary. Remember inheriting money can create more problems than it solves.

Less Control

In most cases Beneficiary Designations and Titling allow assets to pass without restriction.


  • Low to no cost
  • Quick and easy transfer
  • Private
  • Cannot be contested


  • Limited influence beyond the grave

More Control

Wills and Trusts leave you a measure of control over your legacy. The terms of your Will and Trust(s) determine when, how much, under what circumstances and for what purpose your beneficiary(ies) receive distributions.


  • Your wishes are followed
  • If through a Revocable or Living Trust, it is private and cannot be contested


  • Can be costly
  • May be complicated to administer
  • If through a Will or a Testamentary Trust created under a Will, it is public and may be contested

<NEXT:  Using Titling and Beneficiary Designations to leave a Legacy>

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