Volume 67 - June 2012
Legal cartoon, john fytit, Paul Brennan

printer friendly version

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.


Facebook logo
101 reasons to kill all the lawyers

Paul Brennan


Author of The Law is an Ass...Make Sure it Doesn't Bite Yours!


Naughty sons

legal cartoon court staff paul brennan

Dear John

I have always been very proud of my son but now he tells me that he wants to put me in a home. 



Dear H.M.

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. 


  • Hide all family heirlooms, rings, carpets, watches etc., to stop him visiting you just for the pleasure of inspecting them and declaring which ones will be his.
  • If you cannot bring yourself to find an outspoken lesbian lover, invent one.   
  • Adopt a poison will clause.  This is similar to the “poison pill” strategy which companies use to avoid takeovers.  You  incorporate a clause into your will which leaves your son’s share of your estate to someone else.  Even rich sons will baulk at the thought of their inheritance being left to say a donkey sanctuary.
  • Stop taking hand outs from your son.  Bolster your income by taking in washing, playing more bingo, seeking out senior bargains or by simply taking a rich and preferably childless lover.
  • Avoid displays of aggressive hatred especially those that lead to police involvement.  Any sign of mental instability may enable your son to take over your affairs.  Psychiatrists will be on your son’s side, they have parents themselves.

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

If you have a legal problem speak to your lawyer.

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.


magistrates mug Paul Brennan

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. 

If you found this useful, there is more in Paul's eBook "The Legal Guide to Dying....Baby Boomer Edition" 


Click here to reward your favourite judge or magistrate with a small gift of a key ring, coaster, intimate apparel and lots more. 

magistrates clock Paul Brennan

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”.

In the good times, parents encouraged their children to buy homes, investment units, enter business deals, invest in shares and generally “do it” in order to get them off their hands.

As these financial arrangements unravel their kids need money to stave off banks or other financiers. Kids who find that they can’t walk away from their problems are turning to their parents to “fix it”.

Here are 5 “tough love” options for parents to adopt to protect themselves and their kids:
1. Sometimes it is better to let your kids go bust and be around to pick up the pieces.
2. A threat to be sued is not the same as being sued and sometimes suing or being sued can be a slow process, so do not be spooked into action which you may regret.
3. Document and try to secure any loan.
4. Don’t panic and use your available cash and credit cards to pay your kids’ debts, you may need that cash and credit for essential items as the situation gets worse.
5. Signing a guarantee may take the heat off but it is the easiest way for you to lose your savings and your home. Creditors will pursue your kids harder if they think you care and that you may foot the bill so pretend that you do not care (you will find this is easier than you think).

Most parents devote their lives to solving their kids’ problems e.g. car crashes (especially if it was the parent’s car) or making the occasional visit to the police station to bail their kids out.

However, when asked to make the ultimate sacrifice of delivering up their entire life savings the best advice to loving parents is “don’t”.

Kids causing you grief? Speak to a lawyer


legal cartoon, marriage, divorce, lawyers, Paul Brennan

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.


Click here for books, eBooks and CDs by Paul Brennan.

five free legal things to download, paul brennan


Room to let in offices of Brennans solicitors. Call Eleanor Ross on 5475 0285 or email : eleanor.ross@raywhite.com  Ray White Commercial at Maroochydore. Click here for further details.



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.


In this issue

Avoiding the retirement home

Alcoholic sons

Threats to your happy retirement

Who is in your Will? Don't ask, don't tell policy


Forward to a Colleague


The Law & Disorder eZine attempts to provide legal information in an entertaining and amusing manner to help clients avoid predictable legal issues.


Brief Books

PO Box 27
Queensland 4557

brief books, Paul Brennan

QLD BN22069914

Phone: 07 5438 8199

Fax: 07 5438 8836



Liability limited by a scheme approved under professional standards legislation