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How to use an incentive trust for a loved one with an addiction

Jan 23, 2019 | Trust Administration

It might be difficult to find a Florida family that has not been affected by addiction in some fashion. These families often struggle with addressing the difficult line that runs between enabling a loved one and providing sometimes necessary support. Things can get even more complicated during estate planning, but an incentive trust can help ease some people’s worries.

An incentive trust is designed to encourage positive outcomes for the beneficiary, or the heir. These trusts should be managed by a trustee who can exercise necessary discretion when making decisions. If a beneficiary does not meet the terms of the trust — such as failing a random drug test or remaining unemployed — then the trustee must act accordingly. This means that whoever acts as the trustee should understand the potentially complicated nature of the job.

Properly funding and managing the trust is also important. Assets should be retitled and put in the trust’s name for maximum efficiency. Additionally, the executor also needs to get the beneficiary to agree to the terms set out by the trust. The beneficiary will usually have to provide a HIPAA — Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act — waiver as well. This gives the trustee and any trust advisers access to the beneficiary’s related health care information, helping them make the best possible decisions regarding trust administration.

Creating a comprehensive and effective estate plan is not always easy. Aside from creating a will, many people in Florida will also need to make use of living wills, powers of attorney and trusts. An incentive trust in particular can be an effective choice for individuals who want to make sure that their heirs dealing with addiction are still well cared for even after their own death. Since the steps to create this type of trust might be particularly complicated, an experienced attorney might be able to provide knowledgeable guidance on the matter.