The best estate plans include highly customized documents that address your unique family relationships and current financial situation. Most parents want to leave a meaningful inheritance for their children. For some people, a meaningful inheritance will have emotional significance, like inheriting the family photo albums. For others, the inheritance they want to leave their loved ones may be largely financial.
Whether you want to leave heirloom jewelry or your investment accounts to your children, you may worry about them misusing that property or getting rid of family heirlooms for personal financial benefit. That risk may be particularly strong if your beneficiary has a substance abuse issue and constantly needs money for their substance of choice.
Does that mean you cannot leave an inheritance for a child with a history of abusing pain medication or a compulsive drinking problem?
A trust can protect the people you love from a large inheritance
Receiving valuable property as an inheritance can be a boon for some people, but it can lead to devastating mistakes for others. The more property you intend to leave for your children when you die, the more important it becomes to think about how your loved ones may use that property.
You can create a trust that will prevent a child with a history of substance abuse issues from directly accessing assets. You can also prevent them from selling valuable property despite giving them access to it. The trustee that you name can oversee the maintenance of the trust assets and distribute them in a manner that limits the risk of abuse.
One important rule frequently used for trusts created for beneficiaries with substance abuse issues is to prevent them from directly accessing cash. They could present bills or invoices to the trustee so that the trustee can make direct payments instead of giving them resources that may end up diverted to feeding a substance abuse issue.