Berge & Berge, LLP Blog

Monday, June 4, 2018

Sheltering an Inheritance from a Spendthrift Child

Q: How can I prevent my adult child from blowing their inheritance?

From the moment most people become parents, they want to take care of their children. For many, it’s a feeling that never goes away. In fact, children estate planning is often what first brings a young couple into the office for an estate plan. One of the most important functions of a will is to designate the guardians of minor children – – the people you trust to raise your children if you die before they become adults. Without a will naming the legal guardians you’d prefer, your children may end up in the foster care system while a judge decides on a permanent placement—or that could be their permanent placement.

But how do you protect your adult children from themselves and others?

First, encourage them to establish an initial estate plan once they turn 18-- if for no reason other than to have powers of attorney executed naming you or another trusted adult as their agent with the legal power to make their financial and medical decisions if they become incapacitated due to illness or injury and are unable to make these decisions on their own behalf. Many parents are surprised to learn—often in a time of a medical crisis-- that the parental authority they always had to make decisions over their child's medical care ended on their 18th birthday.  Privacy laws prohibit medical professionals from divulging your adult child’s medical information without appropriate written consent.

While turning 18 may make your children legally adults, it doesn't automatically convey the maturity necessary to handle the responsibility of managing a large inheritance.

Because of that and other reasons, many parents choose to transfer assets to their children through trusts that may stagger smaller payments to them over the course of many years. This is a particularly useful estate planning tool for parents who want to prevent adult spendthrift children from blowing their inheritance and may prevent the adult child’s creditors and former spouse from accessing that money as well.

If you would like an initial estate plan or would like to modify an existing estate plan, the trust and estate planning specialists at the Law Offices of Berge & Berge can help you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

From our offices in San Jose, California, we have been proudly serving clients throughout the South Bay area for over 23 years.

Archived Posts


Estate Planning and Elder Law News

© 2018 Law Offices of Berge & Berge LLP | Disclaimer
1101 S. Winchester Blvd, Suite I-208, San Jose, CA 95128
| Phone: (408) 389-6980

The LifePlan Program | Estate Planning | Estate Tax Planning | Business Succession Planning | Probate / Estate Administration | Elder Abuse/Conservatorships | Trust and Estate Planning | Public Benefits | Special Needs Planning | Trust Administration | | About Us | Forms | Resources

Law Firm Website Design by
Amicus Creative