Adult dependents may require special care in estate planning.
When you think of dependents, you likely consider your minor children.
Minor children certainly need parents for support, shelter, and care.
You may not think about your adult children.
According to a recent Parents article titled “Wills and Trusts for Adult Dependents,” some adult children remain financially dependent on their parents.
As a parent, you may worry about what will happen when you can no longer care for your adult child.
With proper estate planning, you can assuage these fears.
You should start with a last will and testament.
With this document, you can name a guardian for your minor dependents.
You can also designate an executor to settle your estate.
Without a last will and testament, the courts will decide who inherits any assets subject to probate and who takes care of your loved ones when you die.
The choices made by the court could be untrustworthy.
Prioritize selecting a guardian who you know loves for your child and is able to take on the responsibility of caring for a dependent adult.
If you are leaving an inheritance for a minor or adult child with special needs, you should consider creating a Special Needs Trust.
This allows you to leave financial support for your child without disqualifying your loved one from means-tested public assistance benefits.
The assets in a Special Needs Trust can be earmarked for the care of your child.
Even if adult dependents are not eligible for public assistance, a trust can hold assets for a trustee to manage on behalf of the adult dependents.
With a trust, you can give instructions to provide greater control over assets for the benefit of your minor or adult dependents.
Creating an estate plan with a last will and testament and a trust is wise when dependents are involved.
Work with an experienced estate planning attorney to ensure your plan meets your goals and your circumstances.
Reference: Parents (July 7, 2021) “Wills and Trusts for Adult Dependents.