Elder Law: Taking care of the kids after you die

I spend a lot of time helping my clients with planning to ensure that they do not run out of money before they die. But what about planning for their children after both parents die? Here are a few suggestions:

  • For any child who has a unique circumstance, leave that child’s share in trust. Does one of your children have a creditor problem, a disability, or marital problems that might lead to divorce? By leaving that child’s share in trust for the child’s own benefit, you may have a better chance at protecting those assets from the hands of others.
  • Are you leaving any asset in your name jointly with one of your children? Clarify in your will how those accounts should be handled following your death. Failure to provide that kind of clarity is the most common source of “family feuds.”
  • Are you leaving assets in unequal shares to your children? Consider a trust to avoid probate and arguments. If you are expecting that there will be disagreements among your children after you die, you can avoid the probate process by putting your assets into a revocable and amendable trust.

For more information on this topic, watch this month’s elder law virtual seminar, which can be watched on Frank and Mary’s YouTube channel, youtube.com/elderlawfrankandmary, and your local cable station, MVTV, along with the Frank and Mary on the Vineyard cable TV show, where my co-host, Sandie Corr-Dolby, and I address many common issues facing seniors, and the resources available during the pandemic. If you have any questions, please contact me at 508-860-1470 or abergeron@mirickoconnell.com.

Arthur and Leah are elder law attorneys in the trusts and estates group at Mirick O’Connell.