Can you force a grandchild to take a drug
test in order to receive an inheritance? Insist your heirs use trust funds only
for tuition at your alma mater? Make sure your wife's future husbands can't run
through money you worked hard to earn? In many cases, the answer is yes—you
can, in effect, control your heirs from the grave.
Leaving an inheritance, a bequest, or a charitable donation is serious
business. However, if you want to continue your control over the use and
enjoyment of your transferred wealth after your departure, you must plan ahead.
Recently, The Wall Street Journal considered the notion of goal-driven
bequests in an article titled “How to Control Your Heirs From the Grave.”
Good news: there are steps you can take now to guarantee that certain
preconditions are met before inherited assets can be released or used.
So, what kind of “guarantees” do
you want to ensure after you’re gone? That depends on you, your family, and what
is of true importance to you. Maybe you want to curtail irresponsibility by
calling for a drug test before receipt of an inheritance, or encourage
responsibility by requiring a college degree.
Nevertheless, there are limits
to the guarantees you can secure and the original article delves into some of
them. Competent legal counsel should be secured to help you navigate the wealth
Reference: The Wall Street
Journal (August 10, 2012) “How to Control Your Heirs From the Grave”