Planning Options for Parents of Troubled Adult Children | Santa Barbara Estate Planning and Elder Law

Planning Options for Parents of Troubled Adult Children

For parents of adult children who suffer from mental illness or addiction to drugs or alcohol, the planning challenges combined with the strong emotions involved can seem overwhelming. The last thing you want to do is provide your loved one with assets that enable addiction or, in the case of mental illness, violate limitations on the number of assets a person can have and still qualify for government benefits. This is something that we at Santa Barbara Estate Planning can help you figure out. Please call us at (805)946-1550.

A major problem faced by parents of troubled adult children is admitting that their son or daughter is not simply “going through a phase” and will “come around” over time. Another is trying to picture the child’s future. When children suffer from addiction or a mental illness such as schizophrenia, it is very difficult to make any type of prediction about what they will need financially or the type and level of care that will be required down the road. Periods of lucidity can end suddenly with a breakdown. In addition, if the issue is drug addiction, a relapse is always possible, even after years of living drug-free.

One planning option is a special purpose trust, also known as a special treatment trust. This trust can be used to provide adult children with the financial assistance they need to enjoy a semblance of the life they might have had without mental illness or addiction.

Another important consideration is who will have the authority to make distributions from the trust to the troubled adult child. While parents, family members or corporate trustees may be able to handle the administration of the trust, a distribution adviser such as a social worker with specialized training can assess the child’s condition and offer valuable counsel.

If you care concerned about planning for a troubled loved one, we invite you to contact Santa Barbara Estate Planning and Elder Law at (805)946-1550 for a consultation meeting to discuss your particular concerns and goals.

Author Bio

Julianna Malis is the Founder and Managing Partner of Santa Barbara Estate Planning & Elder Law, a Santa Barbara estate planning law firm she founded in 2014. With more than 25 years of experience practicing law, she has dedicated her career to representing clients in a wide range of legal matters, including estate planning, elder law, Medicaid and Medicare planning, probate, and other estate planning areas.

Julianna received her Juris Doctor from the University of the Pacific — McGeorge School of Law and is a member of the California State Bar Association.

LinkedIn | State Bar Association | Avvo | Google