What to know about adding conditions to your will or trust

On Behalf of | Aug 11, 2021 | Uncategorized

Adding stipulations to a will or trust may make it easier to control assets such as an Indiana home after you pass away. For instance, it may be possible to declare that your child won’t take possession of your prized art collection until he or she turns 30. It may also be possible to declare that your grandchild can only use his or her inheritance to pay for a college education or to put a down payment on a house.

Will an added stipulation lead to a legal challenge?

There is a chance that adding restrictions as to how a beneficiary may use an asset could lead to a legal challenge. However, depending on how a will is structured, a beneficiary may risk losing his or her entire inheritance by doing so. It’s not uncommon for these documents to include language stipulating that a legal challenge results in the plaintiff forfeiting all claims to any portion of the decedent’s estate. Furthermore, there is no guarantee that a scorned friend or family member would have the desire or standing to contest your will.

Trusts are generally harder to challenge

Generally speaking, a trust is much harder to challenge than a will. Therefore, if you want to add conditions as to how an inheritance can be used, it may be in your best interest to use this type of estate planning tool as opposed to a will. It’s important to note that a trust is only effective if it is properly funded prior to your death. Furthermore, any assets that go into a trust through a pour-over will are generally subject to probate.

There are many variables that you’ll need to consider when creating the structure of your estate plan. However, assuming that your plan was created while you were of sound mind, your surviving loved ones must adhere to your final instructions. Typically, a judge will not invalidate a will or trust simply because your heir didn’t like its terms.