How to create a trust for a beneficiary with an addiction

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2019 | Trusts

Some estate owners in Nevada may need to create a trust for a beneficiary who is struggling with an addiction to alcohol or drugs. This trust should have special considerations to serve the heir. In order to set up an effective trust to help a beneficiary with an addiction, however, it is necessary to understand addiction.

First, the estate owner should decide whether the trust will simply provide for the beneficiary or play an active part in the beneficiary’s recovery. In the former case, distributions can be made for the beneficiary’s basic support. In the latter case, distributions might only be made that are linked to the beneficiary’s recovery. This might involve paying for therapists or a rehab facility. However, if this is the approach chosen for the trust, it is important to realize that recovery is not a straight path. It is likely that the beneficiary will first struggle with the decision to go into treatment and then relapse at least once.

The trust creator might want to tie incentives to goals in the treatment plan, such as staying away from drugs and alcohol for a certain period or completing job training. However, these incentives should not be in the form of money or items that could be sold for cash.

Choosing the right trustee to administer any type of trust can be a challenging aspect of trust planning. For a relative struggling with addiction, one solution might be to pair up a financial professional or institution with a loved one who is familiar with the situation. This could help ensure that there is enough legal and financial expertise to administer the trust effectively but that there is also someone involved who understands and can deal with the interpersonal elements. A lawyer could help an estate planner develop an adequate solution.