How addiction can influence estate administration

Numerous Americans are addicted to opioids. In fact, nationwide, 142 individuals die every day due to overdosing on such drugs. Georgia residents who are preparing their estate plans may have concerns about how their loved ones' addictions could impact their abilities to successfully manage any inheritance given them during estate administration. Thankfully, there are steps that can be taken to protect assets.

There are several estate planning options available when dealing with an addict in the family. First, there is disinheritance. It is possible to not leave anything to the addicted individual. However, this person may then contest the plan when it goes to probate.

Second, there is an outright bequest. This means that a certain sum will be paid out to the addicted individual instead of giving him or her access to all assets. Again, there are positive and negative points to doing this.

Third, it is possible to leave funds or other assets meant for the addicted individual to a trusted person. This person may then distribute the assets or use the funds as he or she sees fit, a long as it benefits the addicted individual. One must be careful when going this route, however, as there are a number of things that can go wrong if the inheritance is not handled just so.

Finally, the fourth option is to create a trust. In doing so, assets are placed into the trust and can only be distributed according to the instructions left in the trust document. This offers asset protection and can set terms by which the addicted individual must live by if he or she wants to see any part of his or her inheritance.

Addiction is a difficult thing for any family. There is a lot of worry involved. Thankfully, when it comes to estate planning and estate administration, an experienced attorney can assist Georgia residents in ensuring the proper asset protection measures have been taken.

Source: wealthmanagement.com, "The Opioid Crisis' Impact on Wealth Planning", Kevin L. Johns, Dec. 5, 2017

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