My Grandchild is an Addict. How do I Leave a Responsible Inheritance?

It isn’t uncommon for people creating their estate plans to face a difficult decision when it comes time to leaving an inheritance to a troubled family member, child, or grandchild. Whether your loved one has a drug addiction, mental health problems, or other difficulties that could hinder his or her ability to manage an inheritance, you need to structure your plan to take this into account. Here are three tips to help you face this issue.

Be honest.

As much as we would love to change or guide our loved ones for the better, sometimes that is not in our power. This is especially true when it comes to inheritances. The prospect of a large inheritance will not be enough to change your loved one’s ways, and you should always be honest with yourself about how that person will be able to manage an inheritance.

Create a trust.

A trust is almost a necessary tool when you have a family member who is not able to manage an inheritance properly. By creating a trust you can still pass on an inheritance but, at the same time, better ensure that the family member will not squander it. Through the trust, a trustee will manage the inheritance for the recipient and do so under the terms that you create.

Proceed with caution.

Creating a trust that will best protect the interests of a troubled family member is sometimes difficult to do. You’ll have to be careful to create specific terms that the trustee can follow while preserving the interests of your loved one. This can be difficult, and you should always speak to an attorney for qualified advice.

Author Bio

Catherine Hammond is the CEO and founder of Hammond Law Group, a Colorado-based estate planning law firm she founded in 2005. With a strong focus on protecting families from the legal consequences of disability and death, she creates comprehensive estate plans that minimize taxes, costs, and government interference.

A native of Denver, Catherine completed her undergraduate studies at Coe College in Iowa, and her Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver College of Law in 1993, concentrating on estate planning, tax, and mediation. Catherine is a member of various professional organizations, including WealthCounsel, ElderCounsel, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Colorado Springs Estate Planning Council, and the Purposeful Planning Institute. Beyond her legal expertise, Catherine provides transformational coaching to support clients and their families through life transitions.

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