There should be an asset transfer vehicle at the core. One popular choice is the revocable living trust, and it could be a trust that is jointly held by a husband and wife. You lose no control when you use this type of trust, because the trustors could serve as co-trustees and co-beneficiaries while they are living.
A very useful element of a living trust for a family would be the ability to empower a successor trustee to manage assets in the trust for the benefit of the children if the unthinkable was to take place. Short of this, every family should have an estate plan, and a living trust can be a long-term tool that is appropriate for each stage of life.
Incapacity planning is another important piece to the estate planning puzzle. If you were to fall into a terminal state with no hope of recovery, would you want to be kept alive through the utilization of artificial life-sustaining measures? You can answer this question through the execution of a living will.
Durable powers of attorney are used to name agents to act on your behalf in the event of your incapacitation. Just because you are married, does NOT mean your spouse would automatically be able to make health care decisions for you.
When it comes to separate property that is not jointly held by both parties in a trust, you would need to use a durable power of attorney to give your spouse (or anyone who you choose) the ability to manage the property in the event of your incapacity.