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Understanding conditional gifts in wills

We all know that making preparations for when you pass away and wording your final wishes in a will is not easy. Words need to be carefully crafted and your assets and loved ones considered thoughtfully. Although many people opt for a straightforward approach during this process – leaving assets to nominated loved ones – others wish to place conditions on their money, property and/or other items. For example, a person reaching a certain age or achieving a particular goal such as graduating university.

So, can you place a provision on an asset in your will and how exactly does it work? We have put pen to paper to provide some helpful insights on this topic.

Wording beware

Although conditional gifts which place a provision of someone reaching a certain age can be relatively straightforward, others can be far more complex and in some cases are not legal binding. For example, you cannot bequeath a portion of your estate to someone with the condition they do not sell it. Once it is their property, they are free to act as they wish. To help ensure your final wishes are fulfilled, consider seeking legal advice if you want to leave a conditional gift in your will.

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When it comes to leaving assets to your loved ones there is more than one option. In addition to conditional gifts, you can also consider a Testamentary Trust. Both options have their pros and cons and depending on your individual situation and asset wishes, will depend on which is the most effective option. Chat with a lawyer to determine what product might suit your needs.

Consider the variables

The truth is, your financial situation can change at any time – and so can the financial situation of your loved ones. If you are considering including a conditional gift in your will, take time to think about the asset and how a condition may impact the life of a beneficiary should their financial situation change, or a tragic event occur. For example, if they become unable to work or require a carer, being unable to access the asset could be problematic.

Do you need expert advice on conditional gifts in wills? Get in touch Noel and Jeremy on (07) 4632 0480 or send an enquiry via our online form.

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