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Really need help with sister inheritance
Old 12-01-2017, 05:21 PM   #1
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Really need help with sister inheritance

I am going to be in charge of a trust for my sister who is early 30s and has had a bad heroine problem since 16yo. Trust will likely be 100-150, and she is losing her mind, fighting about it in the room of her dying grandfather.

Obviously she isnt all there, basically a person who has failed to mature beyond when she first got hooked. There is nothing I would rather do than just give her all the money, but there is a real possibility that would kill her, with no concept of how to manage that money.

My best thoughts are to attempt to get her to read a few very basic books about money, maybe get her listening to dave ramsey, something very simple she can bite into and then start doling out the money to her incrementally and help her making some good decisions.

Can anyone recommend really easy/fundamental books for “musician/artist” types to read and digest?

My first thought was the millionaire next door, but i would love a couple other suggestions.

All other constructive advice welcome.
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Old 12-01-2017, 05:30 PM   #2
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I am going to be in charge of a trust for my sister who is early 30s and has had a bad heroine problem since 16yo. Trust will likely be 100-150, and she is losing her mind, fighting about it in the room of her dying grandfather.

Obviously she isnt all there, basically a person who has failed to mature beyond when she first got hooked. There is nothing I would rather do than just give her all the money, but there is a real possibility that would kill her, with no concept of how to manage that money.

My best thoughts are to attempt to get her to read a few very basic books about money, maybe get her listening to dave ramsey, something very simple she can bite into and then start doling out the money to her incrementally and help her making some good decisions.

Can anyone recommend really easy/fundamental books for “musician/artist” types to read and digest?

My first thought was the millionaire next door, but i would love a couple other suggestions.

All other constructive advice welcome.
She's a heroin addict ..Dave Ramsey, millionaire next door..good decisions? I'd probably tell her she can use the trust money for rehab and not give her cash to buy drugs with. You're setting yourself up for a lots of sleepless night if you try to educate her about money.
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Old 12-01-2017, 05:38 PM   #3
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She's a heroin addict ..Dave Ramsey, millionaire next door..good decisions? I'd probably tell her she can use the trust money for rehab and not give her cash to buy drugs with. You're setting yourself up for a lots of sleepless night if you try to educate her about money.
Agreed. I don't think you can be rational with someone has addiction issues.

Could OP have a bank or other professional be the trustee? Yes, they will probably charge 1%, but then you are not between your sister and the money. That might put you in a better position to help her in other ways.

-ERD50
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Old 12-01-2017, 05:39 PM   #4
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I'm going to approach this from the basis of her being an addict not a "musician / artist" as that does not preclude her from understanding finances (music & math closely related).

1. Super basic finances AKA:
https://www.aol.com/article/finance/...eens/20967595/

2. SSI might be unavailable if she directly inherits
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:04 PM   #5
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Drug addiction is a primary disease. You can't do much about other things until she gets free of the drugs. I did not read anything about her getting treatment ( and also you family members getting some training how to deal with an addict). Until that happens I don't see the point in exposing her to investment advice.


100K will buy a lot of treatment.
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:08 PM   #6
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In and out of rehab for 16 years.
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:16 PM   #7
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Personal Finance for Dummies

But be sure to tell her she is not a dummy. It is a very good book. I don't like the dummy title but they are good books.

PS you can buy all these books used and save a lot of money. Try ebay or amazon
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:22 PM   #8
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In and out of rehab for 16 years.
My understanding about drug addiction is that the addicted person needs to make the decision on their own to get clean. That happens in about 15% of the cases that actually get to the point of trying to get clean. Many never get that far.

Good luck, I feel the pain as we have been there more than once and it's a family problem. Like said above, giving a heroin addict books to read on investments is a waste of time. After 16 years of rehab experience, she knows the drill and that money is being wasted (in my opinion). I wish i could give you some better thoughts.
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:43 PM   #9
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Addicts don't manage money. They lose it, it gets stolen, or it goes to buy drugs.

Your family is placing you in a difficult position. You are expected to be the one to say no and dole out the money for things that are really needed without letting her have the money. That's a recipe for disaster. The addict will hate you, and the family's expectation that you will use the money to "take care of her" will not be met. In your shoes, I would ask to be removed from the position of being the trustee and that someone else, perhaps outside the family, become the trustee.
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:44 PM   #10
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YOU need to get yourself educated about inheritances. I strongly recommend "Beyond the Grave" by Condon. There are so many ways a well meaning trustee can damage a relationship by standing between an heir and "her" money. But, there are also so many ways an unrestricted inheritance can ruin the life of a heir who cannot manage it. The best solution will depend on details only family insiders can know, so increasing your understanding of what is possible and what can go wrong would be an important first step.
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Old 12-01-2017, 06:50 PM   #11
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I agree with others. Books will not change anything. A good residential rehab program, which might easily cost 1/3 of the trust, has a chance but it's no slam dunk.

Is there a family attorney who, for a fee, will serve as trustee? You really don't want to be in an adversarial situation with her and that is almost for sure where you are headed. How much $$ is it worth to keep that from happening?

Is the trust already written? Can it be changed? It should be a prescriptive as possible regarding the purpose of the money and how it can be provided to the beneficiary. That will avoid lots of fights with the trustee down the road.
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Old 12-01-2017, 07:07 PM   #12
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I would do things like pay her rent and other bills directly as needed but do not give her all the $. I worked in human services for 24 years. Until she is clean nothing will work. My son at age 40 was clean for a year, had a job, apartment, etc and then fell off the wagon and is homeless using again. Ugh!
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Old 12-01-2017, 07:20 PM   #13
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You never said what the restrictions of the trust were. Therefore, I will assume you have unlimited control over the money. I would do what Terry suggests. Pay her bills so that she has food and shelter. Then I would do what most have said - encourage rehab (again and again).

If you give her all the money, will that really solve the problem? She's your sister. What are you going to do after she spends all the money and ends up on your doorstep? The trust is as much a gift to you as your sister. With it, you can provide her with basic substance without her becoming a burden to you or the rest of the family. I suggest you make it last as long as possible. I feel for you. You're in a bad situation.
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Old 12-01-2017, 07:56 PM   #14
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You never said what the restrictions of the trust were. Therefore, I will assume you have unlimited control over the money. I would do what Terry suggests. Pay her bills so that she has food and shelter. Then I would do what most have said - encourage rehab (again and again).

If you give her all the money, will that really solve the problem? She's your sister. What are you going to do after she spends all the money and ends up on your doorstep? The trust is as much a gift to you as your sister. With it, you can provide her with basic substance without her becoming a burden to you or the rest of the family. I suggest you make it last as long as possible. I feel for you. You're in a bad situation.
That would be the best case scenario giving a 100K to someone with a serious drug problem could have fatal results.
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Old 12-01-2017, 07:59 PM   #15
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I would do things like pay her rent and other bills directly as needed but do not give her all the $. I worked in human services for 24 years. Until she is clean nothing will work. My son at age 40 was clean for a year, had a job, apartment, etc and then fell off the wagon and is homeless using again. Ugh!
You are in a dilemma. $100-150k is a relatively small Trust but it could still last her awhile. Druggies surround themselves with other Druggies and they owe drug dealers for dope. Others would promptly steal every penny if she got hold of the money. And new friends will come out of the woodwork if the find she has any funds.

You really need to find an attorney specializing in setting up trusts. I would inquire whether you have the authority to setup a Special Needs Trust for her. Lookup that in Google. It is where the trust can pay basic needs like a utility bill, telephone bill, apartment rent, etc. Such a trust is isolated from lawsuits and judgements against her. If it was a much more substantial amount, the trust could be in force for many years.

The main thing is to get the terms of the trust set in stone for what the trust will pay for. Otherwise, a hard core drug addict is going to run you crazy needling you for money day after day. You don't deserve the hassle.
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Old 12-01-2017, 08:17 PM   #16
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A good estate planning atty can write up a trust that will force her to stay sober and clean in order to get the money. The funds can be tied to blood tests, for example and with that draw's funds going to a drug rehab program if she fails the test. I knew of a single mother with a 18 year old son in this situation. The kid was bound and determined no drug clinic was gonna get HIS money! By the time he was in his early 20's, he was thanking that estate planner for the way he wrote up the trust. He admitted he would be dead by now otherwise; either OD or robbed and killed for it.
I understand it's grandfather's money, so talk to him. A planner should be willing to meet you both, even if it's in a hospital, to get this hammered out. I estimate it would cost around $2,000 to set it up and for him to be executor of the trust for the grand daughter after grandfather is gone.
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Old 12-01-2017, 08:38 PM   #17
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I am going to be in charge of a trust for my sister who is early 30s and has had a bad heroine problem since 16yo. Trust will likely be 100-150, and she is losing her mind, fighting about it in the room of her dying grandfather.

My best thoughts are to attempt to get her to read a few very basic books about money, maybe get her listening to dave ramsey, something very simple she can bite into and then start doling out the money to her incrementally and help her making some good decisions.

Can anyone recommend really easy/fundamental books for “musician/artist” types to read and digest?
Sorry. But you are the trustee of a trust for her. The trust presumably was already established by someone else. You must read, understand, and follow the rules established in the trust.

You are not her guardian. You are not her teacher.

You owe a fiduciary interest to manage the trust solely in her best interest. You can put her on an allowance from the trust (assuming that is permitted by the terms of the trust). You can give her all the money at one (assuming that is permitted). But you are required to choose what is in her best interest financially.

You almost certainly are not permitted to force her to read anything or learn anything.

And you cannot force her to make any decisions regarding the money in the trust, unless she is also a trustee.

If it were me, I'd just consider an allowance.

And I'd work on helping her any way I could - although that part has nothing at all to do with the trust.
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Old 12-01-2017, 08:39 PM   #18
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I am going to be in charge of a trust for my sister who is early 30s and has had a bad heroine problem since 16yo. Trust will likely be 100-150, ....

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Originally Posted by Bamaman View Post
.... You really need to find an attorney specializing in setting up trusts. I would inquire whether you have the authority to setup a Special Needs Trust for her. Lookup that in Google. ...
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A good estate planning atty can write up a trust that will force her ....
Per the OP, the trust is already set up. There is no trust to "write up", it is written.

But it isn't hard for the OP to assign trustee obligations to a third party. After all, a trustee can decline to serve, or be unable to serve. Accommodations must (and are) made for these cases.

Assuming it is a typical "spendthrift trust", the new trustee will basically be authorized to distribute the income, and principal only as required for "health and welfare". Better to let a 3rd party make that somewhat subjective call. A trust department will have good guidelines for that, and won't let the money be squandered. They likely have experience with addicts, as that is one reason for a spendthrift trust.

-ERD50
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Old 12-01-2017, 08:39 PM   #19
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I agree with everyone else - your sister doesn't have a money management problem, she has an addiction problem. Figuring out a way to get the money to her should be your last concern; books aren't going to help. Any money from Grandad should go towards getting her help with the addiction. Isn't that what he would have wanted?
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Old 12-01-2017, 08:49 PM   #20
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Sorry. But you are the trustee of a trust for her. The trust presumably was already established by someone else. You must read, understand, and follow the rules established in the trust.

You are not her guardian. You are not her teacher.

You owe a fiduciary interest to manage the trust solely in her best interest. You can put her on an allowance from the trust (assuming that is permitted by the terms of the trust). You can give her all the money at one (assuming that is permitted). But you are required to choose what is in her best interest financially.

You almost certainly are not permitted to force her to read anything or learn anything.

And you cannot force her to make any decisions regarding the money in the trust, unless she is also a trustee.

If it were me, I'd just consider an allowance.

And I'd work on helping her any way I could - although that part has nothing at all to do with the trust.


No one is forcing anything, trying to guide her to understand the size of the gift she has received and comprehend it in terms of delayed gratification for her own future. This has a lot to do with the trust, because there is not another one coming if she screws this one up.

I don’t like at all that you assume that is my intent.
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