A question to consider in estate planning, if you have children is: Do your children now or have ever they struggled with alcohol, drugs, gambling or mental illness in the past?
As you create your estate plan you should be prepared to “do no harm”. This means taking an objective look at the consequences of leaving a child that is ill prepared to handle a monetary windfall at your demise. An estate planning attorney is there to help with these unavoidable issues through proper estate planning.
Before diving in, estate planning requires a parent to acknowledge that an addicted son or daughter may never recover. With this in mind, estate planning must be done so that the child never has easy access to funds. In this instance, a trust with special-purpose language may be a wise option.
This solution gives you traditional estate planning goals like avoiding probate, minimizing taxes and ensuring that the intended beneficiaries are named. However, it also needs to be customized for a unique family situation, such as a child with addiction.
Parents can add a clause that lets the trustee deal with such a child. The clause can even have an incentive for the child to meet certain goals or requirements to receive a distribution from the trust, like staying sober.
Estate planning for addictive children has a few special wrinkles, but it’s very similar to traditional estate planning. Work with a qualified experienced estate planning law firm like mine, so you can protect your child from their addiction and from themselves. Call us at 757.259.0707 or 'request a consultation' online to schedule your complimentary session.
Reference: Trust Advisor (February 15, 2017) “Hope For The Best, But Build Trusts For The Future Of Children With Special Challenges”