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Do you have to disinherit a child with an addiction issue?

Many addicts have a bad relationship with money. Their addiction may have ended their career or may keep them from pursuing one. Even though they may not have income, they still need resources to purchase their drug of choice. Some people with addictions turn to illegal or immoral behavior as a way to fund their habit when employment options and other resources run out.

While you may love and support your child who has struggled with addiction, you likely don’t want to enable future drug use by leaving them a lump-sum inheritance. Is your only option to disinherit your child?

You can create a specialized trust to protect an addicted beneficiary

People struggling with addiction often need more support, rather than fewer resources. Instead of eliminating their inheritance, the better option may be to carefully structure it so that it can only provide help for basic expenses or become accessible after they complete treatment.

A trust can let you leave something for your child and still protect them from their own worst impulses. You will have to think carefully about your child’s behavior and health concerns when determining the best way to structure a trust that will benefit them.

Trusts can also help if you do choose to disinherit one child

Even if you don’t want to leave resources behind for a child plagued with substance abuse issues, creating a trust might still be a smart move. Trusts are harder to challenge and can offer better protection for your legacy and potentially prevent a contentious estate administration process.