Estate Planning With Compassion For Loved Ones With Substance Abuse Issues

Nobody thinks their loved ones will end up addicted to drugs and alcohol. It seems like a problem that other families deal with. Something that could never happen to the people you love. But the truth is many families have a loved one that struggles with substance abuse. 

At Palmer & Slay PLLC, we do not judge Brandon, Mississippi families who need to account for loved ones with substance abuse issues in their estate plans. We know that compassionate estate planning means working with families as they are rather than expecting everyone to live like they are characters on The Andy Griffith Show.

Limited Access To Cash

If you are worried that a loved one with substance abuse issues will waste their inheritance or ruin their life if they are the recipient of a significant amount of cash, you may want to consider putting your estate into a trust

A trust is a legal agreement that allows a trustee to manage assets on behalf of a beneficiary. When you create a trust, you appoint a trustee or trustees to manage the trust. You will also appoint a beneficiary or beneficiaries who will receive assets or property from the trust. The instructions you leave for the trustee tell them how they should treat the beneficiary, and can include special instructions for beneficiaries with substance abuse issues. 

To create a trust, you will need to transfer ownership of your property and assets from yourself to the trust. This can be done right away, or after your death. There are benefits to both options, and which is right for you depends on your particular circumstances. 

Encouraging Rehabilitation, Discouraging Abuse  

Placing your assets in trust, and giving the trustee(s) the discretion to withhold distributions in certain situations has worked well for many families with loved ones who have substance abuse issues. This should be done by an experienced estate planning attorney like those at Palmer & Slay PLLC so it passes legal muster and does not cause hardships that will breed resentment. 

It is also possible to craft a trust that rewards certain behavior. If you want to encourage your loved ones to go to rehab, go back to school, or get a job, the Palmer & Slay team can draft trust provisions that provide what are essentially bonuses for good behavior. 

Whatever provisions you settle on, putting them in a trust should shield them from public scrutiny so nobody on the outside knows your family member’s struggles. 

Preserving Your Wealth. Protecting Your Loved Ones. 

If you have concerns about how your loved one with substance abuse issues will get by after you are gone, working with the experienced estate planning attorneys at Palmer & Slay to set up a trust may be a good option. We craft estate plans with compassion and care, and are ready to assist you and your family.