If you're about to make a will, you may be figuring out how to give part of your estate to particular beneficiaries and may wonder whether you can include conditions as you do so. Generally speaking, this is possible within the confines of the relevant laws, but you must be careful as you plan to avoid any potential pitfalls once you are gone. So, what do you need to bear in mind here?

Adding Conditional Rules

Some people decide to give a gift to a beneficiary in their will, so long as that person adheres to certain conditions. They may often use conditions to encourage younger people to move forward with higher education. For example, you might want a grandchild to persevere and ensure that they study hard to get into a higher learning institution. If they do so, they will be able to access the gift (monetary or otherwise) you identify in the will.

Setting Reasonable Conditions

These conditional gifts are pretty commonplace and usually linked to an achievable goal. However, you may run into trouble if your conditions are too demanding or if the individual in question is unlikely to be able to achieve the target. You'll need to consider their capacity as some people may be unable to cope with higher education. It would be very unfair for you to impose such a condition should this be the case.

Challenging in a Court

Also, your beneficiary could challenge the condition in a court of law. Judges may overturn your clause at their discretion and consider it void. In this case, they could rule that the beneficiary can access the gift immediately, and the executor must comply.

Avoiding Unclear or Unfair Clauses

Some people may want to impose a condition that one beneficiary keeps away from someone else for various reasons. This approach is very personal and not one that is likely to succeed. Again, the beneficiary could question your condition, and as this type of statement is rather vague, it may not be enforceable. In other words, the court would be unable to interpret what you mean unless you went into precise detail. Even in this case, a court may consider the requirement unfair.

Being Sure of Your Ground

Before you add any conditional gifts to your will, get some advice. Talk with an experienced lawyer, and they will tell you how to introduce any clause into your will document.