You’ve worked hard throughout your life to give opportunities and support to your children. Unfortunately, many parents experience the stress and disappointment of having a child who does not live up to their expectations.

If you have a member of your immediate family who struggles with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, compulsive shopping, gambling or just generally unstable and immature behavior, you probably already know that leaving them a large inheritance will spell trouble.

A large lump sum of money could result in someone gambling it all away within minutes or going on a drug bender that could possibly claim their life. If you think that the only safe solution for your child or heirs in your estate plan will involve disinheriting specific individuals, you may want to consider integrating a trust into your estate plan. 

A trust can theoretically let your child inherit

If your primary concern is that your heir might use the assets you leave them for dangerous habits or just frivolously waste their inheritance, creating a trust that manages their access to those assets can be the perfect solution.

The trustee who manages the assets can oversee all withdrawals and distributions and potentially prevent your loved one from making disastrous mistakes with the legacy you leave behind. You can limit how much they can access at one time and what they use those assets for. You also will have the right to allocate the assets in that trust to someone else or possibly a charity when your child dies if they don’t utilize all of the funds during their life.

A trust is also critical if you intend to follow through with the disinheritance

Disinheriting an adult child can easily lead to an estate challenge by that individual during the administration of your estate. A trust is harder to challenge or undermine in court, making it an ideal tool for those who know that their family members will take issue with the terms they set in their estate plan.

There are many considerations when structuring a last will and estate plan in a family with complicated needs. Getting help early in the process will help ensure that you retain control of your legacy.