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Leaving Assets to People With Addictive Behaviors

Attorney L. Reed Bloodworth is the managing partner of Bloodworth Law in Orlando and Winter Haven.

Bloodworth Law handles estate planning, and trust and estate litigation for Florida clients.

Leaving Assets to People With Addictive Behaviors

Can you leave assets to people with addictive behaviors? This video discusses legal provisions that can be made in a will with a trust, or a trust for beneficiaries who have drug, gambling, substance, or addictive issues known as “restricted behaviors.”

A Will Alone Cannot Exert Ongoing Control

A will alone cannot exert control or designate ongoing financial or asset distribution control. In a will, you may only go as far as adding a provision stating, “asset X goes to Bob, unless Bob is on drugs, and if he is on drugs, then it passes to his sister.”

A Trust Can Retain Control

A trust is a legal arrangement created by a grantor to hold property and assets for beneficiaries.

There are trusts that allow you to retain control of assets over your lifetime, and still have a say in how assets are used and distributed after your death.

Here are several trusts that allow provisions for leaving assets to a beneficiary with restricted behavioral issues:

What is a Florida Living Trust?

A living trust may be changed during a grantor’s lifetime. It allows the grantor to modify the trust anytime during their lifetime. A Florida Revocable or a Florida Living Trust is a contract that passes on your Florida estate assets privately. It determines how your assets will be handled after you die.

What is a Florida Irrevocable Living Trust?

An irrevocable living trust can’t be changed. A Florida Irrevocable Living Trust cannot be modified, amended, or revoked, and it takes effect during the lifetime of the grantor.

Option for Control: Testamentary Trust With a Will

A Testamentary Trust with a will can exert some control. Another option for control over assets when you have died, is a testamentary trust, along with a will, which can establish estate plans with provisions for beneficiaries with restricted behaviors.

What is a Testamentary Trust?

A Testamentary Trust is established in accordance with instructions found in a will. It may contain a portion or all of a decedent’s assets outlined in a will. A testamentary trust isn’t established until after a grantor dies.

In a testamentary trust, the executor settles the estate as outlined in the will. It can have provisions that a trustee suspend distributions until a beneficiary proves there is no restricted behaviors issue.

Distributions When Behaviors Are Controlled

A trustee may resume distributions when behaviors are controlled. For example, “X may not receive distributions until testing 12 months clean of drugs.”

If you’re deciding how to handle estate planning to protect assets for your lifetime and the next generation, talk with Reed about what Bloodworth Law can do to help you, your family, or your business.

Attorney L. Reed Bloodworth is a 2021 U.S. News & World Report Best Lawyer in Trusts & Estates Litigation, and Bloodworth Law is a 2020 to 2021 U.S. News & World Report Best Law Firm.

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