On behalf of John Dorris of Dorris Law Group posted in Estate Planning on Tuesday, September 1, 2015.

Many parents in Arizona want to provide for their adult children in their estate plan but worry about how the inherited funds will be used. If people want to have greater influence over how their bequests are used after their death, they may want to set up a trust that contains special instructions about how the funds in the trust will be dispersed.

A lot of people set up trusts that disburse funds incrementally or based on incentives. A staggered trust could allow heirs to collect funds over a long period of time to ensure that all of the money cannot be spent at once. Heirs who inherit an incentive trust must meet certain requirements other than age before they can withdraw funds. Some of the most common incentives are obtaining a college degree, getting married or having a child.

If parents have concerns about how their child will spend their inheritance, they can set up specific restrictions in the trust. As long as the restrictions do not violate any laws, parents can forbid their children from using inherited funds for certain things they disagree with. However, it may be easier to set up a trust that specifies what inherited funds can be used for rather than what they cannot be used for. For example, a trust could be created that allows heirs to use money for housing, health care and education.

Setting up trusts that are staggered, based on incentives or restricted can be a lot more complicated than creating a simple will. A person who wants to take this route may want to work with an estate planning attorney.