Be careful when putting conditions on receiving gifts in a will

When you create a will, you are making a legally binding document that declares your end of life wishes and your preferences for how your property should be divided when you pass away. Beyond directing your family and loved ones about how to properly approach the end of your life, you also set forth who receives which pieces of your property. For many reasons, you may choose to place conditions on how or when a beneficiary receives a piece of property from your estate.

While it is perfectly permissible to place conditions on who can receive an asset and under what circumstances they might do so, it is important to understand the limitations on what a will can control.

Any assertion that you make in your will cannot be followed if it is conflict with the law. Not only can poorly conceived or poorly written conditions create conflict between your heirs and beneficiaries, if you demand conditions on receiving property, you must consider who will enforce these conditions.

It is generally not allowed to place conditions on receiving something from a will if the condition includes another person getting or staying married or divorced, or any condition concerning a person’s faith practice.

If you choose to use conditions that do not fall within proper guidelines, your entire will could suffer, and in some cases, invalid conditions can invalidate some or all of the will.

If you are ready to create the right document for your legacy, do not hesitate to reach out to an experienced attorney. With proper legal guidance, you can create a will that preserves the spirit of your legacy, while ensuring that all its provisions remain within the law, protecting your wishes and your rights.

Source: Findlaw, “What Not To Include When Making a Will,” accessed June 09, 2017

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