Weinstein & Randisi
Toll free:800-768-1780

Resize the Content Text

Using incentive trusts to motivate your heirs: A good idea?

Did you know that it is possible to increase the amount of control you have over your estate plan through the use of a special type of trust? That is right; the incentive trust is a specific program that allows posthumous gifts to be closely monitored according to a strict set of guidelines. In most cases, incentive trusts are used to prevent beneficiaries from becoming "trust-fund slackers" who are exempt from achieving simply because of their inheritance. New York benefactors can include a variety of conditions in these incentive trusts, which can be used to motivate beneficiaries to perform a variety of tasks.

Experts say that there are a variety of options for incentives that can be included in your particular trust. For example, beneficiaries who choose to engage in charitable work could benefit from additional payouts from the trust. Further, beneficiaries could be required to complete college in order to receive the financial benefits held in the trusts.

Although these options seem desirable on the surface, it is important to consider whether hard-line requirements are appropriate for your estate planning strategy. Consider, for instance, the trust that prevents a beneficiary from receiving funds if he or she is using drugs. The logistical nightmare that arises from drug testing alone -- including medical-privacy concerns -- quickly becomes a headache.

Experts say that it is useful to consider nonbinding incentives before committing to a full-blown incentive trust. For those who choose the latter option, careful drafting of the document is critical to success. Consider suspending certain restrictions if the beneficiary becomes disabled, for example. Incentive trusts certainly have their place in the estate planning landscape, but they should be approached with caution.

Source: Barron's, "Incentive Trusts Can Keep Your Heirs Motivated" Amy Feldman, May. 17, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information
  • I wanted to write to say how pleased my wife and I were at your professional handling of our estate planning and preparation of new wills. We were put at ease by your visit to our home for an interview and were pleased that you listened to us and captured the things that we felt were important.

    --Robert and Christine Simonson, Fairport
  • In order to finalize the documents we came to your office and were greeted in a very professional manner and we could not have asked for finer service. We left with copies of everything we needed and feel very confident our needs have been met. Thanks again. We will surely recommend you should the opportunity arise.

    — Christine and Robert Simonson, Fairport
  • I have been working with Weinstein & Randisi for about two years now. Elizabeth Randisi, through a very thorough process, has helped my wife and me determine what is really important in our lives. Thus, we were able to draft a living will that reflected our most important values regarding our estate.

    --David and Ajia Cherry, Fairport
  • I would like to give a testimony for Elizabeth Randisi, an estate attorney with Weinstein & Randisi. Her knowledge of wills and estate planning was clearly demonstrated in her presentation to us. Realizing our need for a will, my husband and I went to see Elizabeth.

    --Kathy and Gary Gray, Webster
  • Filing for Medicaid is never an easy or fun process. However, working with the Weinstein & Randisi firm made the process simple and streamlined. We were able to obtain all files and records regarding Medicaid enrollment within a few days using specially prepared checklists and verbiage recommended by our assigned paralegal.

    --Ajia and David Cherry, Fairport
Awarded Top 50 Estate Planning Blog
Email Us For a Response

How Can We Help You?

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy

Blog Feed


Weinstein & Randisi - estate planning

290 Linden Oaks, Ste. 200
Rochester, NY 14625

Toll Free: 800-768-1780
Phone: 585-310-1578
Rochester Law Office Map


Call us now for a free, 100% confidential consultation: