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by Abigail Van Buren

Sister Fears Inheritance May Doom Drug Addicted Brother

DEAR ABBY: My brother is a lifelong drug addict who has spent the last two decades in and out of jail. He rarely works and has no permanent residence, finding shelter instead with various friends, girlfriends and sometimes sleeping in his broken-down vehicle. When he calls me, it's always with some creative story and a request to send him money. The money I have sent over the years has gone to pay for his new drug fix, not to resolve whatever problem his sob story was about.

Recently, our grandmother died and she left each of us some money. As her executor, I am responsible for making sure my brother gets his share. While I want him to benefit from this modest inheritance, I'm afraid he will use it to buy drugs -- possibly enough drugs to harm himself, if unintentionally. Obviously, this is not what our grandmother would have wanted. How can I make sure this money goes to help, and not further enable, my drug-addicted sibling? -- CONFLICTED SIS IN MARYLAND

DEAR CONFLICTED: Consult an attorney, preferably one who has experience with wills and trusts, and see if some arrangement can be made that ensures your brother has a roof over his head and won't starve. It may be possible that something can be worked out so his necessities would be paid for him, without his actually getting his hands on the money.