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Trusts: Not just for avoiding probate in Florida

Florida parents typically love their children and want to do anything for them. Even when their kids fall into difficult situations, such as facing drug addiction, many families want to get help. Though children may overcome such addictions, parents may worry about what might happen after their own deaths if their kids relapse or need further help. Many may not have considered it before, but trusts may be useful in such a situation as they can do much more than just help families avoid probate.

Many parents may take the steps to help their adult children who are facing addiction by providing them with housing and care. If parents are concerned that after their deaths their children will face expenses due to needed care or fear that children may not use inherited money wisely, they may wish to consider utilizing a trust. Parents can set the terms of the trust, and money or other items in that trust can have conditions for their use and inheritance.

Trusts can help ensure that the beneficiary does not misuse large sums of money and also ensure that money is set aside for potential care. Parents can set terms that must be met before the beneficiaries can obtain their inheritances. For instance, in the case of an addicted child, a parent can require the child attend drug counseling before receiving the funds. A trustee will likely be in charge of the trust and be responsible for ensuring that the beneficiaries meet the specified terms.

Because there are many estate planning options, parties who are concerned about the welfare of their children may wish to explore those options and how they could potentially be applied to their case. Trusts can prove useful in many situations whether individuals want to help their surviving family avoid probate or they wish to establish parameters for the inheritances and care of troubled loved ones. Florida residents may wish to consult with an estate planning attorney who could offer helpful information for specific cases.

Source:, "Estate planning for parents of drug-addicted children", Sam A. Moak, Jan. 24, 2016

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