You may not necessarily lose control or the ability to assure that your estate is being handled responsibly and in accordance with your wishes after you die. You can impose conditions as part of your estate planning and probate to assure that your conditions are being met. But it is important that these conditions are not overly restrictive.
Executors and trustees
Executors have many important responsibilities such as paying debts, handling tax matters and assuring that your assets are distributed fairly, properly and expeditiously. Trustees must assure that trust assets are distributed in accordance with the terms of the trust.
Generally, the law requires executors and trustees to be legal adults. But parents usually name one or more of their children to these positions and hope they will act appropriately.
The estate plan can require that a child reach a certain age that is based on years, maturity or financial experience before serving as an executor or trustee. If they do not reach that age or maturity level, the plan can require that another person such as an older relative also serve as a trustee or executor.
Other conditions can include successful completion of a specific period of higher education, military service, or training. These conditions, however, should be based on reasonable and fair consideration of the child’s life plans.
You may also have concerns about whether your children or other recipients of your estate or trust will act responsibly with their inheritance. Most trusts contain restrictions for use of the assets for the recipient’s health, education, maintenance and support.
Wills can limit assets to emergencies, but this restriction may be too harsh for most recipients who are not independently wealthy. Wills and trusts can also limit distributions to engaging in certain careers or being married. But, again, restrictions should not be overly strict or prevent beneficiaries from making reasonable decisions in their lives.
Attorneys can provide you with options that meet your estate planning needs and help assure that your wishes are met. They can also prepare estate documents that meet Illinois’ legal requirements and help assure that your plan is carried out.