THE FINANCIAL INCENTIVE TRUST
WHAT TO DO TO MAKE IT MORE EFFECTIVE
Like anything, the use effective use of it requires some planning and thinking. Also, in the case of the financial trust we have the complication called "incentivizing", which is not as easy as it sounds.
We are getting into the field of personal motivation, which is fraught with land mines of a psychological and behavioral nature.
While the lawyer helping on the draft of one financial incentive trust said, about all the costs being paid for plus adding incentives: "Gee, I'd do all of these for free!"
But all that tells us is that such a program will work with her motivation and level of understanding.
Since many of the incentives, in the more comprehensive plan, are related to learning and skill building, the beneficiary must have a clear understanding on the value of such things or he/she will be less inclined to do what is necessary - yes, even if paid to do it.
Motivation of behavior is complicated by forces toward the behavior that is aimed for minus the inevitable opposing forces.
The opposing forces are often such things as false beliefs, especially around fears and the risk of failing, and basic practical matters of energy and the allocation of time.
For instance, if a person does not know how to allocate their time and manage it, the person may believe that they cannot do the necessary learning and/or that it will add the stress of another thing to do.
If a beneficiary already has a drive for improving his/her life, then the matter is simpler.
However, if a beneficiary does not have a great sense of self-efficacy and tends to be more dependent, that person will use various manipulation devices to get the benefits without doing the incentivized activities - i.e. to have his/her cake and eat it too, for no effort. For this reason, it can be very important to "plug the leaks" or the person will have no real impetus to seek the incentives. In other words, the incentivizing effect will be cancelled or offset. Then the growth will not occur. This is not a judgment about the beneficiary in terms of good/bad, but just a discussion around what is really involved and what needs to be done to get the benefits intended for the beneficiaries! (Read, for the context of the last statement: Why There Is No Fault - Whatever Happens Happens For A Valid Human Reason. We just need to change the reason!)
DOING WHAT IS TRULY BEST FOR THE BENEFICIARY
Since parents love their children alot it is difficult to discipline themselve to plug the leaks and/or to rescue the kids. Although few people are willing to acknowledge this, there is often some "enabling" of underachievement and/or dependence going on by giving what is needed without the kids earning the incentive and doing the behavior that benefits them. Again, no one is to blame or to be labeled, it is just a matter of identifying what is going on and then doing something about it that works. A very delicate issue and one the advocate may not be able to get by.
So, the parents must learn and understand more plus the beneficiaries must understand alot more. But doing what it takes to create the necessary learnig and understanding can have huge payoffs, even if not done perfectly (and perfectly doesn't really happen anyway!).
And, of course, parents are not impartial, objective bystanders, understandably! And if we add that to the tendency for people to take shortcuts in the facts-reasoning process, then the decisions and conclusions that are made are often not beneficial. Again, parents want to love and accept their children and be supportive of them, so they will tend to err on the side of that versus doing what is actually the best for the "child" (who may be 50 years old). The most frequent statement is one of "that's just the way he/she is" (and there is nothing that can be done about it and it won't change). That belief will not lead to proactive behavior toward doing what is best.
AND ITS HARD TO REMEMBER TO STAY ON TRACK
Both the benefactors and the beneficiaries need to be reminded of what works and what to do, as they are busy doing the rest of their lives, with lots of distractions - and its easy to forget.
The effective trustee, whose job is not just to disburse the fund, will do whatever is necessary to make sure the full benefits of the trust are achieved. The trustee can be considered the "candy man", handing out the dough, and a fondness for him/her is likely to be developed as he/she is "on their side" and "looking out for them". But, just as a parent will have to experience, the trustee may have to confront some issues and risk some of the "liking". Yes, it is a delicate issue, but it is vital to let go of all personal considerations and to hold strongly only to that which gets the best results for the beneficiaries (which, of course, is the objective of the trust in the first place!).