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Stipulations In A Will
Some people want their will to be more than a list of gifts and beneficiaries. If you want to have more of a say about what goes on after you’ve gone, you can make gifts conditional. Making a gift conditional means that it can only be inherited when some action is performed or a specified age reached.
A will with conditions is sometimes known, for pretty obvious reasons, as a conditional will.
There are several reasons why you may consider working a condition into your will:
Protecting your loved ones. You can set in stone the responsibilities of one loved to another to ensure a vulnerable family member is looked after.
Make sure the beneficiary is ready. If a would-be beneficiary is young, you can make a judgement call as to what age they are ready to inherit responsibility.
Taking control from beyond the grave. You may want to have an influence on how your beneficiary approaches life by offering the chance of scooping a gift from your will if they do or don’t do something.
You can work conditions into your will in three ways:
House Clearance Bolton reccomends you set up a life interest. A life interest allows the beneficiary to benefit from the interest earned on an investment or the rental value of a property, on the condition that they do not sell up and that gift passes to another specified individual on their death.
Write a gift into trust. Under a trust, you sign over a property or some other asset to your appointed trustee. The trustee then distributes this property according to the conditions you set down. For example, you may not want your children to come into their inheritance until they are 25. A trustee can ensure your wishes are obeyed.
Tack conditions onto a gift. This is the ‘you can’t have this until you do this’ tactic. Conditions can range from the mundane to simply bizarre. In 1862, Henry Budd left his two sons £200,000 each on the condition that neither of them grew a moustache.
You can tack a condition onto a gift by writing:
“To (name of beneficiary) I give (description of gift) on the condition that (describe condition).”
The golden rules with conditions is to be precise about what you expect your beneficiaries to do, or not do, to earn their prize.
Be warned however, that tacking conditions onto a gift can be fraught with danger and can even lead to your will being challenged. The courts don’t look kindly on wills that try to exert undue influence from beyond the grave.
Your beneficiaries have the right to ask the court permission to collect their inheritance without having to meet your conditions. The court can deem that your condition is reasonable – in which case it stands – or unreasonable – in which case it is overturned or voided.