Addiction affects more than the addict.
Your heart is breaking.
Opioids have destroyed your family.
Perhaps have they have taken control of a loved one.
How do you love them, yet take steps to protect them and you?
According to a recent MarketWatch article titled “How to leave money to a family member with an addiction,” estate planning is essential to doing this well.
You have gotten them treatment.
Still, they return to the drugs each time.
What more can you do?
Protect them from their inheritance.
Coming into an unprotected windfall of money would only provide resources for purchasing even larger quantities of drugs.
Do you have to completely disinherit them?
You could create a trust.
This can provide accountability and direction for the use of the funds.
You can even provide incentives within the trust to encourage healthy behaviors.
You can require the passing of drug tests or entering a residential program before the child can receive any funds.
There also can be negative consequences in place for poor behavior.
Think of this as providing "carrots and sticks" to encourage and protect your addicted loved ones.
Do not attempt to create an incentive trust alone.
You will need the help of an experienced estate planning attorney who has worked with addiction-related issues.
When selecting a trustee, you should choose someone who is not easily manipulated and who is trustworthy.
Even if the addict is aggressive, your trustee should be able to remain steadfast.
In fact, an institutional trustee may be a perfect solution.
Will there be requirements from the beneficiary?
Your beneficiary must adhere to specific terms.
Your child may need a HIPAA waiver for the trustee to monitor his or her medical history.
Addiction brings many challenges and hardships.
A trust can help provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones.
Reference: MarketWatch (January 14, 2019) “How to leave money to a family member with an addiction”