Restricted Property

In estate planning and will drafting, the concept of restricted property provisions plays a role.

It helps in shaping the distribution of assets.

This professional discourse delves into the intricate world of restricted property in wills.

Defining Restricted Property In Wills

Within the context of wills, restricted property pertains to assets subject to specific conditions.

These will be those imposed by the testator.

These conditions may regulate how, when, or under what circumstances the property can be accessed or transferred to beneficiaries. 

Such conditions are meticulously outlined in the will.

It often serves to protect the interests of beneficiaries, preserve family legacies, or meet charitable objectives.

Purpose And Types Of Restricted Property

The purpose and types of restricted property are:

Protecting Beneficiaries: 

One primary purpose of restricted property provisions is to safeguard beneficiaries.

This will be from the potential consequences of sudden wealth or irresponsible financial decisions. 

A testator may impose restrictions to ensure that heirs receive their inheritance in a controlled manner.

These are periodic disbursements.

Preserving Family Legacies: 

A testator wishes to maintain the family home or a valuable heirloom within the family.

Restrictions can be applied. 

This ensures that the property remains in the family’s possession, passing from generation to generation as intended.

Charitable Goals: 

Some testators designate certain assets for charitable purposes.

However, it may impose restrictions on how those funds are to be utilized by the charitable organization. 

This ensures that the funds align with the testator’s philanthropic objectives.

Example 1: Restriction On The Sale Of The Family Home

Background Scenario: 

John Smith, a widower, has a valuable family home that he wants to leave to his children, Sarah and David, in his will. However, he is concerned they might sell the house and use the proceeds irresponsibly. John wants to ensure that the family home remains within the family for generations.

In his will, John includes a restriction: “I leave my beloved family home, located at 123 Elm Street, to my children, Sarah and David. However, they are prohibited from selling the property. The home must remain within the family and can only be transferred to direct descendants, such as grandchildren or great-grandchildren, through inheritance.


In this example, the will restricts the sale of the family home and specifies that it must remain in the family, passing down through generations.

This ensures that the property stays within the family and isn’t sold off or used in a way that the testator (John) didn’t intend.

Example 2: Conditional Bequest For Education

Background Scenario: 

Emily Jones is a philanthropist who wants to leave a significant portion of her estate to her nephew, Daniel, in her will. However, she has concerns about Daniel’s future and wants to ensure that he uses the inheritance for educational purposes rather than squandering it.

In her will, Emily includes a conditional bequest: “I bequeath $200,000 to my nephew, Daniel, to be used exclusively for his education. However, this bequest is conditional on him enrolling in a recognized educational institution within two years of my passing. If he does not enroll within this time frame or if he fails to maintain satisfactory academic progress, the bequest shall be null and void, and the funds shall be directed to my favorite charity, the Education for All Foundation.”


In this example, the will places a condition on the bequest to ensure that the inheritance is used for a specific purpose (Daniel’s education). 

Suppose Daniel doesn’t meet the condition by enrolling in an educational institution and maintaining satisfactory academic progress.

In that case, the bequest is forfeited, and the funds go to a charity, per the testator’s wishes. 

This is a way for Emily to ensure her legacy supports her cause while still providing for her nephew’s future.

This is if he follows the stipulated condition.