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I want to leave my bank accounts to my children when I’m gone. Can’t I just make the children joint owners? I hear this all the time.

That idea sounds better than it is. Yes, your kids would avoid court proceedings when you pass. But you might put yourself at risk at a time when you might need your money yourself. Your accounts would be exposed to your children’s divorcing spouses, bankruptcy, liability for legal actions (e.g., an auto accident), or your children could simply spend your money without your permission.

The best way to resist temptation is to avoid the opportunity in the first place.

While you are alive, it is essential to designate a person you trust to pay your bills when you can’t do that yourself. With a comprehensive power of attorney document, your trusted person can take care of your