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“That’s it! He’s out of the Will!” “He’s just going through a stage … he stopped using for a whole week and he’s a different person.” “That liar will NEVER change.” “I’m sure financial security will stop her from using.”

The truth of the matter is that our loved ones suffering from the disease of addiction will be unable to break the cycle of perpetual relapses and suffering until they experience an event sufficient enough to bring about a moment of clarity and humility resulting in an honest desire for change. It is when that limited window of opportunity opens that the loved one’s family and community should be prepared to assist in implementing a plan of action to ensure success in rehabilitation, treatment and recovery. This sort of change cannot be brought about by begging, shaming, reasoning, emotional pleading or implementing tough love, including disinheritance resulting from anger, fear or retaliation. While families must refrain from stoking the fire of addiction through enabling a loved one’s habits through countless methods of well-intentioned acts, implementing certain estate planning strategies can avoid providing direct resources to family members suffering from active addiction while ensuring that carefully managed funds will still be available when help is desired and honestly sought.

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