There are a lot of different topics that have to be considered by those who are setting up an estate plan, as well as for people who already have a trust or a will and need to make revisions. Life can change in many ways, whether someone passes away, marriage comes to an abrupt end or a loved one cuts off all contact with the family. In recent years, an increasing number of families are struggling with a parent, sibling or child who has a drug addiction. Not only can this bring up serious health concerns and legal problems, but it can also affect an estate plan.

If you want to leave some of your estate to a family member who is addicted to drugs or alcohol, you may be worried that your assets will be abused and applied toward a destructive addiction. Fortunately, there are steps that you can take to avoid this. For example, you may be able to designate a trustee to ensure that the funds are not misused. It may be smart to assign someone outside of your family since loved ones may be vulnerable to giving in to an addict’s demands and their requests may place strain on relationships.

You may also want to look into an incentive trust, which could stipulate that a beneficiary will not be given any assets until they have completed a milestone, such as finishing rehab and staying sober for a certain period of time. In some cases, people even decide to disinherit loved ones as a result of their addiction. Ultimately, it is up to you to carefully review your options.