Do I need a trust if my child has struggled with substance abuse addiction in the past?

While every family’s needs are unique, the answer to this question is, quite possibly, “yes.” It is simply a fact that a trust can provide you with more options, control, and flexibility than creating an estate plan that only includes a will. Families who have children that struggle with substance abuse problems may need these benefits even more so than others do. The good news, however, is that you are asking the right question when it comes to estate planning. Your estate planning attorney can help you create the plan that is right for your needs.

Four Reasons to Use a Trust When a Loved One Struggles With Addiction

When dealing with a loved one who is struggling with an addiction, it is, of course, important to focus on the physical and emotional health of your family. Ensuring that you have a good estate plan in place is an equally important task, however. In many cases, using a trust is recommended for the following reasons:

  1. A trust gives you control “beyond on the grave.” It allows you to place restrictions on the transfer, management, and use of your assets after you pass. This is especially beneficial when you have concerns over what would happen if your child were to receive his inheritance outright.
  2. A trust allows you to plan for specific circumstances with better control and in greater detail than can be done using just a will. For example, the trust may dictate that if a child relapses, the trustee can step in and withhold any further distributions of trust assets until the child is once again in recovery.
  3. If you have real concerns about your child receiving full control over your assets, a trust allows the child to receive benefits from those assets without having access or control. The trust can be set up for the child’s benefit, but the assets may be held in trust indefinitely.
  4. A trust allows you to encourage certain behavior that you deem desirable and to set aside funds for specific purposes. For example, the trust can reward the beneficiary if he seeks treatment. In addition, the trust can dictate that money be set aside to pay for certain things, such as an inpatient rehabilitation stay. These are generally things that cannot be accomplished using just a will.

We hope that this article provided you with a better understanding of the benefits that a trust can provide. If so, we encourage you to sign up for our free newsletter today. You will receive regular updates about the latest tips and techniques for effective estate planning.