How can I provide for financially reckless beneficiaries?

Date: Jul 01, 2007
Document Type: Article, Q&A

This a common concern when writing a will. In some extreme examples, where the possible beneficiary concerned is a spouse or child, it is very difficult to avoid naming them as a beneficiary because, as a child or spouse, they have an immensely strong claim against your estate even if you choose not to name them.

Fortunately, there are ways to exercise some control over a beneficiary’s enjoyment of the benefit you bequeath to them, enabling you to make this important gesture to them with some peace of mind.

A common solution is to set up a trust arrangement whereby the benefit you bequeath to them is held in trust under clear constraints you have outlined. It may wait until the beneficiary reaches a certain age or meets a certain condition before the benefit is made available to him or her. Alternatively, it may dispense a limited amount of money at certain intervals specified by you.  There are numerous forms these trust arrangements can take. However, there are also certain arrangements that will not stand up before the law if challenged. 

To make the right arrangements or to investigate other possible solutions, you should discuss your concerns with a solicitor who can advise you on the best course of action.

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