One of the best things about creating a comprehensive estate plan is that you get to decide what it looks like and what is passed on to beneficiaries. You can also use more advanced estate planning techniques like trusts to exert more control over the conditions in which your loved ones can inherit those assets.

In crafting your will or trust you might decide that a beneficiary you have named needs to meet certain conditions in order to inherit the asset in question. Maybe you want someone to meet a particular condition before they become eligible to receive the asset.

California law explains conditional inheritances and enforces conditions that are imposed on inheritances so long as they do not violate public policy or the law.

This is specifically outlined under section 708 of California Civil Code, which names that conditions can be subsequent or precedent. Precedent conditions have to be satisfied to receive a gift, such as the beneficiary being of age or surviving the person who has crafted this will.

Section 709 of the California Civil Code outlines that if a condition precedent requires the performance of an act wrong in and of itself, that instrument containing this requirement becomes void.

One of the most common tools used to reinforce conditional gifts is known as a no-contest clause. This means that the beneficiary must accept the terms of the trust or the will to inherit and this can decrease the possibility of expensive will contest issues. For more information about how to leverage these kinds of strategies, schedule a consultation with a Pasadena estate planning lawyer.  

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