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If you have a loved one that struggles with a mental illness, your trust can help that loved one no matter what ends up happening.  A trust can be this support by funding treatment, allowing the trustee to be a support, and provide structure for the loved ones for their lifetime.

Let’s explore these ways in more detail on how they can support your loved one and share your love:

      1. It can contribute to voluntary treatment for mental illness

You can control how your trust distributes your property.  This includes specific provisions that address the many possible forms of treatment, ranging from inpatient care, an ongoing outpatient program, or a mental care retirement facility.  Your trust can fund as much of these treatment as your desire.  This also helps your loved one because they will have to dedicate less of their funds for the treatment, which may also help their condition.

Sometimes, someone suffering from mental illness cannot select the right kind of care.  In that care, your trust can encourage involuntary care that takes care of your loved one in the best manner.

      2. Trustees can help watch over them

Choosing your trustee is a difficult decision. When a loved one suffers from mental illness, that choice becomes much more important and nuanced.

Your trustee needs to be able to handle your finances while also being compassionate as they watch over your loved one.  They should probably also have some ability to detect early warning symptoms and be able to connect the loved one with appropriate care quickly.

      3. Lifetime trusts provide structure and support

Most of the time, a large inheritance is not a problem.  But when mental illness is involved, that inheritance can quickly become a problem.  A lifetime trust provides an excellent way to provide for a loved one without giving them additional responsibility and stress.

You can give your trustee full discretion over trust distribution or give specific guidelines that you want to address, such as allowing the funds to be used for only certain needs like housing, mental health care, or other goods.  You can prohibit other kinds of spending, such as gambling or “conspicuous consumption” kinds of shopping.  This can help protect your loved one from making bad decisions.