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Incentive Trusts: The Promise & Limits of “Do What I Want & I’ll Reward You”

August 13, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Incentive trusts are a mechanism by which the settlor tries to “incentivize” or seek to control the behavior of beneficiaries. Settlors may want to encourage children or grandchildren to achieve certain educational milestones, maintain a job, get married or have children, or remain free of substance abuse or other risky behaviors. But there are serious limits – limits of what the law will allow a settlor to demand of a beneficiary or a trustee to enforce. There are also practical limits, including how to objectively judge a beneficiary’s behavior when making distributions. Incentive trusts are decidedly a mixed bag. This program will provide you with a real-world guide to drafting incentive trusts, counseling clients about their effectiveness and limits, and understanding what the law will (or won’t) allow.

Handout Materials will be emailed to you prior to the seminar
1.0 MCLE Credit Hours


• Uses and limitations – practical and legal – of incentive trusts
• Types of incentive trusts – and rates of success or failure in achieving settlor goals
• Structuring incentives so they can be objectively measured and administered by trustees
• Drafting distribution provisions
• Counseling clients about downsides of incentive trusts and alternatives


John A. Warnick, Purposeful Planning Institute – Denver