What is an Incentive Trust?
An incentive trust is designed to encourage or discourage certain behaviors in its beneficiaries by using the distribution of funds as a tool to exert control over the beneficiaries. In other words, this type of trust provides an inheritance for certain individuals, as long as they comply with certain conditions, as set forth by the terms of the trust. An incentive trust allows an individual to attempt to pass on certain values and characteristics to his or her surviving heirs.
One common type of incentive trust relates to the education of the beneficiaries. This sort of trust provides for a financial bonus for a beneficiary if he or she graduates from college. Other incentives might include additional funds for beneficiaries who finish college within a specified time period, achieve a certain level of scholarship or grade point average, or complete a certain course of study.
Other incentive trusts may focus on shaping a beneficiary’s moral behavior. For instance, there may be financial rewards for beneficiaries who stay at home with their children, give birth to or adopt a certain number of children, or marry within a specified period of time. On other hand, this type of incentive provision in a trust might be aimed at discouraging certain life choices, such as withholding funds from a beneficiary who is convicted of a crime or who fails a drug test.
An incentive trust also can operate so as to encourage certain career choices. For instance, if the creator of the trust wishes the beneficiary to carry on the family business, he or she may build in a financial incentive for a beneficiary who enters the family business. A beneficiary also might receive financial rewards through an incentive trust for starting a new business or pursuing a certain area of interest.
The estate planning lawyers of the Law Offices of The Elder Law Firm PC are experienced in ensuring that you have a comprehensive estate plan in place that best will benefit you and your family. We know how to look at the different aspects of your life, assess your situation, and determine whether you or your loved one should take any additional steps to ensure that your estate plan meets your needs. Contact Law Offices of The Elder Law Firm PC today and learn how we can help you make the right decisions for you and your family.