Tailoring the Bequest

If you die without a will, anyone who receives your property (other than minors) will generally receive it outright, with no restrictions or conditions attached. This may not be what you want. For example, you may want to let a close friend use a certain property for the remainder of his or her lifetime, but at this person's death, you want the property to come back to your heirs (rather than your friend's). Can you do this? The answer is "yes." You can do this, and other things that will restrict or condition the recipient's use or ownership of the property. Some of the more common methods of doing so are listed below. As will be noted in our discussions that follow, you will need to be particularly careful when restricting property use by will, and you are well advised to seek the advice of an attorney who regularly deals with wills and trusts.

Here are some aspects of limitations on bequests that you should know about: