A lot of people put off estate planning. There’s no universal reason for doing so. Some people are scared to think about their own mortality, while others simply don’t see a need until it’s too late. Others think that their assets will pass down to their loved ones appropriately even without an estate plan in place. Yet, others simply don’t want to deal with the family drama that many people think accompany estate planning. This is especially true when here are certain loved ones who you don’t want to inherit your any of your assets.
A closer look at your options
There’s not doubt about it. You can disinherit someone by clearly stating in your estate plan that they are not to receive any of your assets. However, if you find yourself in a position where you just want to control your loved one’s behavior in a certain way before allowing him or her access to your estate, then you should know that there’s a way that you can do that.
A trust is probably the best way to do this. By utilizing a trust, you can place conditions on the release of your estate assets. Therefore, if you want a loved one who is dealing with a substance abuse issue to seek treatment, then you can place assets meant for him or her in a trust to be disbursed only upon successful completion of a substance abuse treatment program. If you are concerned that your assets are going to be misused by a named beneficiary, then you can stagger the release of trust assets. This ensures that the beneficiary will only receive assets in a piecemeal fashion, thereby avoiding spending it all at once.
Beware of common myths
There are a lot of myths out there about estate planning. Some people think that you have to leave your assets in an even fashion to your loved ones. That’s not true. Others think that once you disinherit or place strict restrictions on an inheritance that you can’t change your mind later on. That’s not the case, either. The truth of the matter is that you have a lot of control over your assets through the estate planning process. In fact, it allows you to have a pretty long reach even after you are gone.
So, if you want to ensure that your assets are as fully protected as possible, and you if you want to use those assets to drive your loved ones to do better, then you might want to talk about how to create one or a number of trusts to suit your needs.