Trusts in your Will
If you have a child with drug issues you might worry about leaving them an inheritance: it would be a great shame if your hard earned estate should be squandered on drugs, and it could exacerbate the drug issues for the child.
In this situation a suggestion is for the inheritance that might have gone to the child with drug issues goes into a discretionary trust. The trust is in your Will which means it comes into existence on your death.
Because of the way discretionary trusts work you will have to name several possible beneficiaries, but you will make it clear in a side letter that you want the money to be used for your child if he/she can demonstrate that it will be used for sensible things such as housing, education and living expenses. For example you could say that if your child proves that he/she is free of drugs the trust can be would up and he/she can receive the capital.
The trickiest decision you will have to make is who to appoint as Trustees of the Trust. There must be at least two trustees. It will be a challenging job, the trustees must be tough enough to say no. Ideally at least one of them will know your child personally, the other one could be a professional, but doesn’t have to be.
Setting up a Will in this way is more expensive than a standard Will, but should not be extortionate. There will also be continuing costs after your death, as the Trust will have to file tax returns, but again this is not too complicated.
If possible you should tell your child what you are doing and why. If that is too difficult, leave a letter addressed to him/her to be opened after your death explaining what you are doing, and why. Of course it will hurt, but it is better than the alternative.