Ada-Icon
Required

Special-Purpose Trusts for the Mentally Ill and Those Suffering from Addiction, Elder Law Attorney, Woodstock, GA


It was the summer between her sophomore and junior year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison when Patti Sacher’s daughter Keisha had a breakdown. She had taken LSD at a Grateful Dead concert one weekend in 1989. When Mrs. Sacher called to check on her that Monday, Keisha wasn’t making sense. “She was hearing voices after the weekend, and her thoughts were disjointed,” Mrs. Sacher said of her daughter, who was then 19. “We couldn’t understand what she was talking about.” Keisha became more involved with drugs during the fall. By January, her parents were receiving alarming phone calls from their daughter’s friends. Keisha ended up being hospitalized that winter, but she wouldn’t come home. She was an adult, and her parents had no legal power over her. After a year, she acquiesced and returned to New York City.

The New York Times recently published “For Parents With Troubled Adult Children, Financial Hurdles Abound,”which talks about what can be done to help a loved one stricken with mental illness. It noted that there are many painful and emotional issues in situations of mental illness and addiction that affect children, but also there are financial plans that parents can use, such as a Special-Purpose Trust, that provides care for the suffering child and peace of mind for the parent.

A special-purpose trust is different from a special-needs trust, which is frequently implemented to pay for additional needs of those receiving government benefits where the government has strict restrictions on the recipient’s assets. A special-purpose trust can be used to provide children more of the life they might have enjoyed without mental illness or addiction, and it allows the parents the flexibility to make changes with the distributions.

Special-purpose trusts are more complicated to establish than regular trusts because of the powers they give to the trustees and the restrictions they place on distributions. However, the toughest part of creating a special-purpose trust is getting parents to accept them as necessary: parents must first acknowledge that their children will never fully recover.

Parents are advised to set out some very specific criteria for distributions into trust documents, for example, staying on medication or staying sober for a certain period of time. In addition, those with a family history of mental illness and addiction issues should get a power of attorney and health care proxy for children over 18 who are away at college. In the event that something happens to their child, the parents will have access to medical records and will be able to help.

Work through these issues with an experienced estate planning attorney to make sure that you are doing your best to help your child.

Reference: New York Times (August 28, 2015) “For Parents With Troubled Adult Children, Financial Hurdles Abound”

Hear From Our Clients
tes-prev
tes-next

“On the threshold of retirement, we finally decided to quit thinking we could self-prepare the requisite documents. We had previously had only a very simple will. We needed the necessary legal (including updated will) & health care docs but didn’t want to deal with the time & complication of legalese. Cindy made the process relatively painless. She took the time to explain and answer questions without trying to upsell services. We were done in 2 meetings plus the reading of emailed drafts. In addition to preparing the documents, Nelson Eldercare will be there when our adult children need advice on executing the plans we’ve put in place.So glad it’s behind us and would recommend Cindy and her helpful staff.”

- Bonnie

Cindy and her company treat their clients like family. Nelson’s offers clear, direct, and honest guidance in planning for your families security and future. No one wants to actively sit down and make these decisions, but Nelson’s makes this process seamless. I was so impressed with their willingness to answer all questions big or small. So glad I made the decision have them help my mom and dad and now me. You can’t go wrong with Nelson’s Elder Care Law.

- Hope

The very best elder law attorney and staff anyone could ever ask for! I have referred a number of clients to Cindy and she never disappoints. She is kind, caring, and extremely thorough in making sure everything is completed as it should be. I highly recommend Cindy for anyone needing lawyer services; she truly goes above and beyond for every client she helps and has had a huge impact in so many peoples’ lives. Thank you, Cindy and staff, for everything that you do- I’m so glad to know you!

- Kerri

I heard Cindy’s presentation at a Senior Luncheon at my church, and was very impressed. She helped my daughter and me understand many aspects of elder law. Josh has also been very helpful in my planning to enter an independent living situation . I have told many friends about them.

- Charlotte

Cindy and the Nelson Elder Care Law team are trustworthy and helpful. They are the experts in elder care law. At Leaf Cremation, we entrust our families to the care of the Nelson team when their services are needed.

- Pierce