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Controlling beneficiary spending through trusts

Ohio residents might be interested in learning more about how estate owners can control how heirs spend their inheritance. Legal and financial professionals often recommend using a trust to accomplish these types of goals. With powers extending beyond the scope of a will, a trust can set parameters not only on who receives inheritance and how much they are entitled to spend, but how it may be spent as well.

Many grantors feel most comfortable appointing a family member, friend or their bank as the trustee responsible for administering the trust after their death. Incentive trusts are designed to require beneficiaries meet certain stipulations before receiving the inheritance, such as passing toxicology exams or earning a degree.

The staggered trust is designed to disburse the inheritance as the beneficiaries mature. This type of trust issues distributions incrementally over a predetermined amount of time. As long as no laws or civil rights are violated, these trusts can be designed to be as restrictive on beneficiaries as the estate owner wants. However, beneficiaries may be successful in using the judicial system to challenge trusts that are unlawfully restrictive. Rather than focusing on restrictions, many estate owners have been successful in being explicit about the exclusive categories the inheritance may be used for, such as bills, tuition or insurance.

People who need more information about the use of trusts as part of a comprehensive estate plan may benefit from consulting with a lawyer. Legal counsel can examine the client's goals and desires and recommend the most effective strategy for meeting their particular priorities.

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