Leaving A Legacy with Strings Attached

Strings attached 2Many wealthy people seek to control how their heirs can spend inheritances. However, some seek to use inheritances as a way to control how their heirs live their lives. Such is the case with a recently deceased tycoon.

Maurice Laboz passed away with a net worth of approximately $35 million. In his will, he left $10 million to each of his daughters, who are currently 17 and 21 years old. As is often the case, Laboz did not leave all of that money to his daughters right away. Instead, they must wait until they are 35 years old to receive their inheritances.

However, what is somewhat unusual is that Laboz left ways for his daughters to get some of the money early if they will do things he approves of. For example, they can receive early payments if they get married, only having children in wedlock, and graduate from an accredited university.

The Daily Mail has more details on the Laboz estate plan in a recent article titled "Tycoon's daughters must wait ten years to inherit his $20m fortune." These types of pre-conditions to receiving an early inheritance are not normally encouraged by estate planners. One potential issue is that they might have a tendency to make heirs resentful.

By and large, people do not like being told how they should live their lives and do not like feeling manipulated when it comes to things like getting married and having children. Thus, while the conditions Laboz set might not seem like anything particularly harmful, their mere existence could have unintended consequences. In this particular case, these conditions might become moot. Laboz was in the process of divorcing his wife when he passed away. The divorce was not finalized and he cut her completely out of the will. She is likely to challenge it.

An experienced estate planning attorney can advise you on the benefits and detriments to “incentivizing” an estate plan. You can learn more about this topic as well as other strategies on our website under the tab entitled: estate planning in Virginia. Be sure you also sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter so that you may be informed of all the latest issues that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning.  However, proper estate planning is not a do-it-yourself project.  Why not call us for a complimentary consultation at 757-259-0707.

Reference: Daily Mail (July 27, 2015) "Tycoon's daughters must wait ten years to inherit his $20m fortune."

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