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Using a trust to leave assets to a troubled child

| Jul 16, 2020 | Uncategorized |

When your children were born, you likely had visions of happiness, success and love for each of them. Though you knew that they would live their own lives and have different experiences, you still hoped that each road would lead them to positive futures. Unfortunately, not all of your children had such outcomes, and you may have one child in particular who had more troubles than the others.

Specifically, you have a child who lives with addiction and substance abuse issues. Over the years, you have undoubtedly done what you thought best to help your child overcome this problem, but you likely also know that the choice to beat addiction has to come from him or her. Now that you are estate planning, you do not want to leave your child without but also do not want to enable the addiction by providing funds after your passing.

A trust could help

Fortunately, certain estate planning options could help you address such a serious matter. You may not have considered using a trust as part of your plan because you do not consider yourself immensely wealthy, but it is a common misconception that trusts are only for affluent individuals. You could use a trust to have more control over the assets you leave to your troubled child.

The instructions you leave for the trustee could relate to providing incentives for your child to work toward obtaining and maintaining sobriety. You could indicate that your child could receive access to certain benefits, like having a paid vacation. It may be tempting to allocate cash funds for specific sobriety-related milestones, but if your child has a history of using cash to purchase drugs or alcohol, providing cash or event assets that your child could quickly liquidate could tempt your child into using those funds for an unhealthy habit.

Setting the terms of your trust

As you know, each child is different, and fortunately, each trust a person makes can also differ. The terms of the trust you set for your child struggling with addiction need careful and thorough thought. You certainly do not want to inadvertently help your child further an addiction, so the wording of your trust and how your trustee manages the assets are vital.

Understandably, you may have concerns about properly creating a trust, but luckily, you can receive assistance. An experienced Louisiana attorney can assess your concerns and help you find the best way to address the needs of your troubled child in your estate plan.