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Estate planning when dealing with addiction

In 2016, there were more than 42,000 deaths related to opioid use, which was a 500 percent increase from 1999, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Georgia residents who are trying to create an estate plan may need to account for a loved one's addiction. This may be necessary to protect the best interests of the addict as well as the family.

It is rarely a good idea to leave an addict out of a will or trust entirely. It is also rarely a good idea to leave large sums of money with no strings attached. An incentive trust could be an effective tool in providing for an addict while ensuring that he or she is committed to recovering or staying sober. Families will need to search for both qualified legal representation and the right trustee when creating this type of document.

The trustee is responsible for ensuring that the beneficiary complies with the terms of the trust. Although it may be difficult, it is important that family members are in constant communication regarding an estate plan. This means letting everyone know why a plan is created the way it is and how to access plan documents. As with any trust, asset titles will need to be changed so that it the trust has ownership of them.

When creating an incentive or similar type of trust, it may be a good idea to consult with an attorney. Doing so may make it possible to learn more about obtaining HIPPA or other waivers to enable the trustee to do his or her job properly. An attorney may also help with the process of titling assets so that they are covered by the trust document.

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