We have noted in past blog posts of our Alameda County estate planning firm that standardized strategies and outcomes in the estate administration realm are both illogical and impossible.
And that is for one distinct and simple reason: families.
Families are fundamentally different in countless ways from each other, with their only common characteristic being the very uniqueness that defines them in every instance.
And that is what makes effective estate administration -- that is, properly tailored and optimally crafted planning to maximally promote desired family objectives -- both challenging and exhilarating for an attorney professionally trained in the practice area.
The objectives of planners are wide ranging, indeed, encompassing a wide variety of aims.
Some of those don't get much press, which makes one recent planning article addressing a subject that is uncomfortable for many families instantly notable.
That is hard drugs, most specifically the intense and sometimes life-long challenges of an addict facing opioid addiction.
It happens, and to families of every description.
And its occurrence is not that rare. Reportedly, about 650,000 addicts could die within the next decade from opioid overdoses.
How do individuals and families -- often parents -- prepare and implement a plan that encompasses a loved one with such a problem?
Answers will vary, of course. In one instance, a sibling might be able to step in and administer an inheritance to a brother, sister or other family member battling addiction. Disinheritance might be considered in another case, as could be an outright bequest. All of those options come with risks.
The above-cited article also mentions trusts, which are often wonderfully flexible planning instruments applicable under many scenarios.
A well experienced and empathetic estate administration attorney will listen carefully to a planner's hopes and concerns where a drug- or alcohol-addicted loved one is concerned.
Ideal answers are not always immediately forthcoming as a legal response addressing that reality. A candid and confidential discussion with a legal professional, though, can serve as a starting point for referrals when necessary and the subsequent crafting of a strategy that materially benefits all involved parties.