Creating Your Estate Plan When Your Child Has an Addiction

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”



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We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
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Thank you, Walt and the Zaremba Team

Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.