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Can you control what your heirs do with your money?

When planning for your own death, of the most emotionally challenging aspects is the fear of the unknown.

When deciding what property or money to leave to your loved ones, you may question whether they will use their inheritances wisely. While you can not fully control the actions of your heirs, there are steps you can take to make your intentions clear.

Be careful with conditional gifts

You might consider including conditions in your will that state how your heirs should use the money or property they inherit. Before including conditions on any inheritance, you must ensure that your conditions are enforceable. For example, you can not leave money to your children on the condition that they convert to your religion.

It is also important to be realistic. Some conditions may take a long time to fulfill. When writing your will, consider whether it is possible or practical for your executor to follow up on your wishes.

Consider setting up a trust

If you want to set guidelines for how your loved ones use your money, a trust may offer the most options. You can specify where the money should go, such as college tuition. You can also specify that the beneficiary can not access the funds until a certain age.

Another benefit of a trust is that it allows you to make sure your pets receive proper care if they outlive you. You can not leave money directly to an animal, but you can establish a pet trust for the animal’s care.

Your estate plan should give you peace of mind. If you want to ensure that your heirs use their inheritances in accordance with your wishes, consider your options carefully.