When a loved one suffers from a mental illness, estate planning takes on a whole other meaning. Who will care for them when you are gone, and how? One small comfort can be knowing that your trust can take care of them through thick and thin. Let’s explore a few ways you can help take care of a loved one struggling with mental illness with the help of your estate planning attorney.
Covering Voluntary Treatment
Trusts can be disbursed in many ways. If your loved one is involved in an inpatient care facility or an ongoing outpatient program, you can structure your trust so that its disbursements cover the costs of that treatment as time goes on. This also helps your loved one because it relieves them of the responsibility of managing large sums of money on their own. They can rest easier knowing that their care is covered without having to set up a complicated payment plan on their own. In some cases, the person suffering from mental illness doesn’t have the capacity to enroll themselves in the right type of care. If an intervention of care is needed, your trust can also help encourage involuntary treatment that ultimately serves your loved one’s best interests in the long run.
Providing a Trustee
Selecting a trustee isn’t always an easy feat. That’s one of many decision-making areas where we’re more than happy to step in and walk you through the process. When you have a loved one battling mental illness, your choice of a trustee requires more nuance. We’ll help you deduce the perfect person to not only manage the wealth contained within the trust but also keep a compassionate, watchful eye on your loved one benefiting from the trust. An astute trustee can look for early warning signs surrounding your loved one’s mental health issue and make sure to get them connected to the care and services they need in no time.
Ongoing Structure and Support
Most people don’t think of large inheritances as a burden, but this can be the case when an individual is dealing with depression, anxiety, hoarding, or diseases like schizophrenia. Lifetime Trusts are an excellent way to take care of your loved one without saddling them with a challenge on top of what they are already experiencing. A discretionary lifetime trust can be drafted in such a way that its funds can only be used for certain goods and services —such as outpatient mental health care, housing, or other “necessaries” of life. Likewise, it can also prohibit spending in areas that would cause more harm than good —gambling or compulsive shopping, for example. The discretionary nature of these types of trusts makes it so your loved one doesn’t have to worry about their own potential missteps when it comes to using the wealth contained within the trust. It can also ensure that the principal lasts much longer, which provides a steadier source of financial support over your loved one’s lifetime.
Do you have a family member or other loved one who could use the financial flexibility and structural support of a trust? Give us a call today, and together we’ll figure out the best ways to enhance your loved one’s life by finding the right estate planning tools to offer the most help.