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Estate planning when your child has a substance abuse disorder

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2021 | Estate Planning

You worked hard to be able to leave something behind for your loved ones, but now, you have a child who is struggling with a substance abuse disorder. If you are not careful when crafting your estate plan, you run the risk of doing one of two things. You may wind up leaving your troubled child money he or she may blow, or you may end up leaving your child out of your will entirely, which may lead to emotional turmoil and discord among your beneficiaries. 

However, there are some steps you might consider taking when working on your estate plan that may enable you to leave your child with a substance abuse disorder funds without those funds contributing to his or her disorder. For example, you may want to consider taking the following steps. 

Establish a trust with conditions

You may be able to leave your child with a substance abuse disorder assets on a conditional basis to help avoid those assets going to the wrong places. For example, you may decide to establish a trust your child may only access after staying clean for a specific amount of time, or by attending regular substance abuse treatment meetings. When creating the trust, clearly stipulate what happens if your child fails to meet the terms you required. 

Inform your child about your plans

It may also benefit your entire family for you to give your child with a substance abuse disorder an idea of what your plans are. If you plan to leave assets behind on a conditional basis, make sure he or she is aware of this before your passing. This may help avoid inheritance conflicts and related issues and may also give your child some incentive to get better. 

Having a child with a substance disorder is difficult, but having a solid estate plan in place may help everyone sleep better at night.