Being a good parent to a struggling child involves careful estate planning.
Very careful planning.
Do you have a child who is making detrimental decisions?
Is he or she squandering money and time on addictions?
You still love your child, but you are unsure how to handle them in your estate plan.
After all, an inheritance can be a blessing or a curse anyway.
But someone with additions?
What can you do?
According to a recent Trust Advisor story titled “Hope For The Best, But Build Trusts For The Future Of Children With Special Challenges,” working with an experienced estate planning attorney is your best choice.
As much you love your child, you cannot make decisions for him or her.
You cannot miraculously heal addictions.
At the same time, you want to protect the estate you built from becoming fuel to accelerate a downward spiral with potentially tragic consequences.
Limit the access your child has to his or her inheritance.
You could create a trust with special-purpose language.
What would this do?
It would have a two-fold purpose.
One, it would have traditional estate planning benefits of reducing taxes, naming beneficiaries and avoiding probate.
Two, it would allow you to add a clause regarding how the trustee is to deal with the child.
You could provide an incentives to make good decisions.
For example, to receive payouts, the child must remain sober with independent accountability.
You can still support the welfare of your child after you have passed.
An experienced estate planning attorney can help you help your child.
So, how do you find an "experienced" estate planning attorney?
First, ask around. Friends, family and other professional advisors are trustworthy sources.
Second, conduct an "organic" search on "Google" for "estate planning" near you (e.g., "Estate Planning Anytown MoKan").
Third, either way, verify! Check out the education, experience, ratings and client reviews of any attorney before you contact him or her.
In fact, I use both of these services to thoroughly vett attorneys before referring members of our "client" family for legal help in other areas of law or for matters in jurisdictions outside Kansas or Missouri.
Remember: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” When making your financial, tax and estate plans, do not go it alone. Be sure to engage competent professional counsel.
For more information about estate planning in Overland Park, KS (and throughout the rest of Kansas and Missouri), visit our estate planning website and be sure to subscribe to our complimentary estate planning e-newsletter while you are there.
Reference: Trust Advisor (February 15, 2017) “Hope For The Best, But Build Trusts For The Future Of Children With Special Challenges”