67 - June 2012
Wealth Retention - Adult Kids "Giving Me Grief" Special Edition
Here is all you need to know about making your children do what they are told, even if you worry that you are 50 years too late.
Essential advice for all parents who are getting on a bit.
I have always been very proud of my son but now he tells me that he wants to put me in a home.
You are not alone. Many parents grow to actively dislike their adult children. They tend not to show it but engage in a campaign of civil disobedience in collaboration with their grandchildren e.g. buying peeing puppies, financing vomit inducing chocolate binges and fast food extravaganzas, permitting late and inappropriate movie sessions etc. Grandparents can find combining this with breaking wind at inopportune moments very satisfying.
Understandably sons, often egged on by wicked daughters-in-law, start to give hints about retirement homes at any time after their parent's 55th birthday.
Your lawyer will advise you of the 5 point “We Are Staying Put, Son” (“WASPS”) strategy. Use this to make your son’s interjections into your life a less pleasurable experience for him until he backs off.
As one grandfather said, “Keep your enemies close and your adult children even closer.”
(c) Paul Brennan 2010 All rights reserved. Extract from John Fytit’s International Legal Problem Page. For more go to https://www.lawanddisorder.com.au/legaladvicepage.html
Click here to see Paul Brennan on Channel 9's "The Morning Show" with Kerri-Anne Kennerly talking about the problems facing baby boomers with regard to estates and wills.
Last orders-alcoholic sons
Your son's drinking, gambling and womanising have far exceeded your own. He seems happy to do it on your tab.
You have waited for him to settle down, get married and have kids but at 35 he shows no signs of slowing down. He says he is having too much fun.
You have told him that we are not here to have fun. You have explained to him the many benefits of marriage and children, without success.
Your lawyer says that this is very common. Many sons have formed the view that marriage is a mug's game and kids make your life a misery. You do not know where they got that impression.
Left to his own devices, your son would quickly spend his inheritance. Then where would you be?
Your lawyer advises you that an “Alcotestamentary” trust clause be inserted in your will. On your death, your son’s part of the inheritance would be managed by a trustee until he sobers up, if ever. The right trustee will look after your son and give him his inheritance in very sensible small installments. The real problem is choosing the right trustee.
His siblings may be too soft. An accountant is an excellent choice and will often add little lectures in money management which I understand are quite tortuous. However, that does cost money.
The best choice by far, is an ex-girlfriend especially one who fears that she has been left on the shelf as a result of your son’s dithering. Combine the ex-girlfriend with a narrow minded religious friend of the family and your money should be quite safe, especially if you provide that the trustees’ decisions are to be unanimous.
The right choice of trustee has been the first step on the path of sobriety for many wayward sons.
(c)Paul Brennan 2009.
KIDDERS-the latest threat to your happy retirement
With the savings of many parents effectively halved due to the financial crisis and their home values under siege, few are ready for the next tidal wave- KIDDERS, “Kids in debt, diligently eroding retirement savings”.
What to tell the children
I am often asked if you should reveal the content of your will to your adult children. In a perfect world my answer is absolutely not. This will allow you to change your will for petty reasons e.g. that they did not ask you to lunch, without upsetting them or appearing senile. If the reason for changing your will is a good one they can be informed after the will has been changed and they have lost out. The more money that they think you have the more satisfying this can be. You can always change it back later.
But as clients get older and their fortunes greater they come under increasing pressure from their adult children to reveal “Who to?” and “How much?”. Trying to reason with an adult child that their “utterly useless” sibling is more deserving is not accepted as a valid reason for the loss or reduction of their rightful inheritance. Where a step mother or step child is involved such explanations will fall on deaf ears.
If you tell each of your adult children that they shall receive their full share whether or not that is true you may later come under pressure to produce the will.
The solution is for your lawyer to produce several wills in different terms. The appropriate will can be left around the house on a visit by an adult child. A little bit like changing the photographs on display. To stop your children conferring each will must say that everything is left to that particular child.
As a will provides that any previous will is invalid, it is just a matter of having the will that you really want to be dated later than the bogus wills and kept safely at your lawyer’s office.
In these circumstances, a child that has lost out may challenge your will on the grounds of your insanity. However, most judges will accept that you were driven to distraction by your children. Not an uncommon occurrence.
(c) Paul Brennan 2009. All rights reserved.
Disclaimer: The content of the Law & Disorder eZine is to give you legal basics and in some instances, included unashamedly to try and make you laugh. In law, it is sometimes difficult to work out what is serious and what is just for fun. Therefore, if you plan to do anything legal, rely on your own lawyer’s advice or instruct me to look at the particular facts of your case. Not only will I deny responsibility for the legal content but also for some of the jokes.