It is your hope that when you leave your children assets and inheritance in your will, they will use it appropriately. Yet, if you are concerned that your children or other beneficiaries won’t utilize the inheritance the way you expect them to, you can leave stipulations known as conditional gifts within your will to ensure that your hard-earned assets aren’t wasted.
What are conditional gifts?
A conditional gift is a provision within your will that stipulates when property or other assets will be distributed. In general, this is when a specific event occurs, such as a child or grandchild not receiving an inheritance until the age of 25 or upon college graduation.
The two elements that can be placed on conditional gifts in wills are relevant to the time in which certain actions must occur:
- Condition Precedent: The condition or event must be met before the gift is made. The condition must be written in such a way that the condition has a reasonable chance of occurring.
- Condition Subsequent: Gifts are given without condition but can be revoked if something occurs. An example would be revoking inherited land if the beneficiary does not build a home on that property. The problem with these conditions is because there is no timeline if the event occurs years after the gift is made, they can be hard to enforce.
It must be noted that some conditions are simply unenforceable, including:
- Illegal activity
- The beneficiary must marry or divorce someone
- The beneficiary must change their religion
The rule of thumb of this: The beneficiary must have a choice in the action that occurs. If they don’t, it’s unenforceable.
Who should utilize conditional gifts in their will?
If you are leaving significant assets behind to loved ones, you rightfully have concerns about what they may do with it, especially if you have created a trust to care for an aging spouse or dependent child.
However, anyone can utilize conditional gifts in their estate plans, so long as they abide by the law.
Conditional Gifts in Wills: Nashville Estate Planning Attorneys
When it comes to planning for the future, you rightfully want to ensure that your beneficiaries respect your wishes and carry out your legacy in an appropriate manner. If you are considering implementing conditional gifts in your will or trust, speak with our Tennessee will and trust lawyers. We will make sure your will is valid and no one will be able to contest it once you are gone. If you are considering creating a will, don’t hesitate much longer.
Prepare for your family’s future today by contacting the Nashville will lawyers at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC today for more information.