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Designing trusts an heir with substance abuse problems

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2019 | Trusts |

Estate planning in Georgia can be a complicated process, especially if some beneficiaries have special needs. For heirs with developmental disabilities, there are specific trusts with appropriate wording that can prove useful. If the beneficiary has a problem with substance abuse, this may present a more nuanced situation that can’t be solved with a traditional disability trust.

Families creating trusts for members with substance abuse problems have their work cut out for them. However, there are options available. First of all, they need to identify the purpose of the trust and state it clearly. For example, the trust could have nothing to do with the beneficiary’s recovery. Alternatively, the trust could have an active role in helping the beneficiary get over their addiction by covering the costs of rehab and other services.

In the event that a family decides to dedicate a trust toward helping a member overcome addiction, they need to be aware of the different stages of recovery. To begin with, they need to dispel the notion that recovery can happen overnight. It could be a difficult process where the addict is bound to relapse.

Families can help addicted beneficiaries by coming up with a treatment plan. It should contain several goals, such as staying drug-free, meeting with a therapist regularly or staying away from situations that can cause a relapse. Accordingly, if the beneficiary follows the goals in the treatment plan, the trust can bestow incentives.

Obviously, there are minute details that need to be figured out in order for the trust to have the best effect possible. For instance, family members could figure out what type of incentives would work best as monetary help might cause a relapse. An estate owner looking forward to creating a trust might benefit from reaching out to an experienced attorney who can help them design something suited to their needs.

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