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Spendthrift Trusts Are Your Best Defense Against the Florida Shuffle


If there were a simple cure for substance use disorder, your family would not be in this situation. As the parent of an adult who has struggled with drug addiction, your life is a roller coaster in which you cycle between empathy and emotional numbness, between hope and despair, and between blaming yourself, your child, and the system.  The one thing that remains constant is your desire to be a source of stability for your grandchildren, because you are the only thing you can be sure they have.  It is an unimaginably difficult situation anywhere, but especially in Florida, the land of the Florida shuffle, where a relapse lurks around every corner,  where you hope that this relapse is not deadly. ,.  Despite that a series of “game over” scenarios, each more terrifying than the last, have been playing in your mind for years, you need an estate plan.  Coping with your child’s addiction has cost you all of your time and most of your money, and soon you will be too old to work.  If you are ready to stop waiting for a deus ex machina to cure your child’s addiction and build an estate plan that reflects your family’s reality, contact a Dade City estate planning lawyer.

Setting Up a Trust for a Family Member Living With Substance Use Disorder Can Help You Prepare for All Possible Outcomes

It is a misconception that trusts are only for wealthy people and that spendthrift trusts are only for overgrown rich kids who can’t hold a job but also can’t be trusted to use their parents’ money responsibly.  An adult with a history of substance use disorder is the ideal candidate to be a beneficiary of a spendthrift trust; think of it as a “one day at a time” trust.  The trust instrument should include two sets of instructions, one that the trustee should follow when the beneficiary is sober, and another to follow during a relapse.

In the worst-case scenario, the trust pays for the beneficiary’s addiction treatment and other medical expenses, as well as necessities like housing and groceries.  You could be helping your child stay sober after you are gone simply by paying for him or her to live in an apartment near his or her job rather than in one of those shady sober living homes for which Florida is notorious.  In the best-case scenario, the longer your child stays sober, the more cash he or she can receive from the trust each month.

Contact a Florida Elder Law Attorney About Planning to Help Your Family Cope With Uncertainty

An estate planning attorney can help you if you want your estate plan to give your child the support he or she needs to achieve and maintain sobriety.  Contact The Law Office of Laurie R. Chane in Dade City, Florida to discuss your estate plan.



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