Crafting an Estate Plan When You Have a Troubled Child
Any parent who has had to live with a child afflicted with a drug or alcohol addiction, or who is
financially irresponsible, knows the difficulty of helping that child make healthy decisions. You
probably spend quality time worrying about how you can continue to help this child once you are
gone. You may have concerns that a lump sum of money will be quickly squandered, either from
poor spending, substance abuse habits or both. You likely still want your child to receive money
from your estate, but you also don’t want to enable destructive behavior or have hard-earned
money whittled away.
Your safest bet is to establish a trust. A trust is an estate planning tool that allows you to set aside
an inheritance for this troubled heir, but gives some control regarding access and use of the funds
to a third party, the trustee. The trustee can be a neutral party, such as a trust company, or a
family member. Keep in mind that it may save arguments and hurt feelings to use a neutral party.
The trust can specifically state exact conditions about the release of funds, including:
- Passing drug or alcohol testing before releasing funds;
- Payments directly to landlords, colleges, etc;
- Lump sum disbursements for graduation, periods of job retention or periods of being substance-
- Payments to a rehabilitation center for the child.
These trusts are worthwhile, but complex. It is best to speak with an experienced estate planning
attorney who can help you develop a plan that best meets your wishes for all of your children.
Experienced estate planning attorneys Fayetteville AR of the Deborah Sexton Law Office PA
offers estate planning and business planning resources to residents of Fayetteville AR. To learn
more about these free resources, please visit http://www.arkansas-estateplanning.com today.