As you think about how to leave your inheritance to your children, you may find yourself worrying about how they’re going to use it. You would like to have some control over their decisions. This isn’t because you want to be overly controlling, but simply because you know what it took to save that money over the decades and how much good it can do for your heirs. You want the best possible future for them, and that may mean helping them make wise decisions with your money.
But is it actually possible to influence how they use the money? If you just leave it to them in a will, then you cannot. But there are other ways to leave an inheritance.
Putting money in a trust
For example, rather than leaving someone a set amount of money in the will, just take that money and put it into a trust that serves a specific purpose. If you do not want to have your heir worry about the cost of college tuition, which seems to go up every year, then you could create an educational trust. They are only allowed to take money out of that account if they are using it for educational purposes, and the trustee ensures that this happens.
It may be wise to talk with your heirs about your decisions if you decide to do this. You can explain how you would like them to use the money and why you’re setting it up that way. This reduces the odds that they will be unhappy with your decision and helps them see how the money can be used beneficially moving forward.
To create a trust, just make sure you know about exactly what legal steps you’ll have to take to set everything up.