Skip to main content

Incentive Trusts: The Promise and Limits of "Do What I Want & I'll Reward You"

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 provides 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.

  • 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

Tuesday, September 14, 2021
1:00–2:00 PM


  • John A. Warnick, Denver, CO

September 14, 2021

North Carolina: 1.00 MCLE Hour

See pricing below.