Restrictions in Estate Planning
It’s a fairly common movie theme: a child is required to get married before he can receive his huge inheritance. The parents write something in their will that states he must get his act together, get a job, and get married by a certain age or his millions will be given to some charity rather than to him.
Restrictions Not Enforced in a Will
In reality though, restrictions like this are commonly unenforceable in a will. Controlling what people must do in order to get their inheritance is not considered good public policy. Even though the restrictions might encourage good behavior rather than bad, it can be difficult to enforce. How long does the marriage have to last? Could a beneficiary be married for one month, get the inheritance, and then get divorced? If the will states the beneficiary cannot ever get divorced, are the parents setting up their child for a lifetime in a loveless marriage? Neither scenario is good for anyone so these types of restrictions shouldn’t be placed in a will.
Irrevocable Trust May Be the Answer
There are legitimate milestones which can be included in a trust document if you want to encourage certain behavior from your beneficiaries. An irrevocable trust may allow a certain amount of money to go toward education costs or to a wedding or allow specific amounts of money to be provided at specific ages. An irrevocable trust is a complicated legal document which is best drafted by an experienced estate planning attorney.
Getting Legal Help
Experienced Estate Planning Attorney Elga Goodman can help you prepare a thorough estate plan which considers using trusts to reach your estate planning goals. Contact us today at 973-841-5111.