There are many different kinds of terms a person could put in their will. One such type of term are conditions on gifts. A condition on a gift will generally make a gift to a beneficiary contingent on the beneficiary using the money for a specific purpose or first taking some specific action. Generally, conditions on gifts are allowed in wills. Among the things that can lead to a person thinking about including conditions on gifts in their will is having strong feelings on how specifically they want their loved ones using gifts they leave them or having a desire to give one of their loved ones a strong incentive to take a certain action they want them to take.
There are some things it can be important to keep in mind when thinking about including conditions on gifts in a will. One is that there are some types of gift conditions that are not allowed in wills and will be deemed unenforceable if they are present in a will. Some examples of such banned conditions include conditions that make a gift contingent on a religion change, divorce, marriage or illegal activity.
Another thing to keep in mind is that issues can sometimes arise in regards to a gift condition when it comes to the details of the eventual enforcement of the condition. It can be very important to adequately address such issues.
As one can see, there can be some complicated considerations when it comes to gift conditions in wills. Thus, if a person is thinking about putting gift conditions in their will, they may want to ask a lawyer about things like whether the conditions are allowed ones, what specific enforcement issues the conditions could raise, what impacts including the conditions in their will would have and what steps could help the conditions have the intended effect.
Source: FindLaw, "What Not To Include When Making a Will," Accessed April 6, 2015