Many people find that creating an estate plan is, contrary to their initial instinct, a rewarding and richly satisfying experience. When you create a plan to help and support your family after you’ve gone, there is a certain kind of satisfaction that comes from the process. However, some people need to create a plan that takes into consideration a troubled child, grandchild, or other relative. While you may feel free to leave an inheritance to family members who are in good control over themselves, more troubled family members pose a greater challenge.
For example, let’s say you have several grandchildren. All but one have a good education, a stable job, and a stable family life. Another, unfortunately, has had difficulty with substance abuse and emotional problems. If you want to leave an equal inheritance to each child, does that mean you will have to leave the troubled child with money or property knowing that this would likely cause additional problems?
There is no right or wrong answer this question, but many people in this situation choose to create a trust. Through the trust you can establish protections that will ensure the inheritance a troubled child receives will be managed, at least partially, by a more responsible person you can select, known as a trustee.
Trusts are also a good idea if you have underage children or grandchildren who cannot legally own the property yet. While there are numerous different types of trusts you can create, many of them will give you peace of mind in knowing that a troubled or underage child will not suddenly be confronted with a large inheritance and the potential pitfalls it comes with.