I have a financially dependent adult child – how do I protect them when I’m no longer around?

Lawrence has been the sole carer for his adult child Richard, for many years. Richard is an only child and his mother passed away some years ago. Aside from day to day care, Richard is also financially dependent on his father as he is unable to work. Now in retirement, Lawrence is beginning to worry about what things will be like for Richard when he is no longer around.

Lawrence owns his home; an investment property and he still has considerable funds in superannuation. Richard will be the sole beneficiary of Lawrence’s estate. While Lawrence is somewhat confident that Richard will have enough money for the rest of his life, he has many other unanswered questions which are causing him great concern.

Lawrence’s close friends suggest he start by having a conversation with their financial adviser, to see if they can ease his concerns at all. In the initial meeting Lawrence sets out his worries:

  • I’m pretty sure there is enough money to support Richard for the rest of his life, but I’d like you to run some projections for me to provide me with more certainty.
  • Richard does not have the capacity to manage his financial affairs, simply leaving him the money in my Will isn’t going to be good enough, what can I do?
  • Richard can be too trusting, what if an unscrupulous person dupes Richard and leaves him impoverished?
  • Richard has a cousin that he’s very close to and that I trust implicitly could he possibly help?
  • How can Richard access the money he needs but at the same time have some protection from using the money unwisely?
  • I’ve always looked after the investment property, Richard won’t be able to do that, should I sell it?
  • How am I able to ensure that my wishes are followed in preparing for Richards’ future?

Sometimes the problems we face seem insurmountable and because they seem difficult to solve we often put off dealing with them. Ultimately, we are often surprised to learn that solutions exist, and we experience a huge sense of relief. Here are some of the things Lawrence learned:

  • The projections supported Lawrence’s sense that he was leaving enough money to support Richard for the rest of his life.
  • That there are many Estate Planning options for him to consider that go well beyond a simple Will.
  • That he can set up a structure that will give Richard significant protection from financial predators.
  • It’s possible to legally nominate a person or persons to assist Richard in managing his financial affairs. Lawrence could even involve a professional to help Richard’s cousin if he wishes.
  • There are structures which allow free access to capital under the supervision of trustees.
  • His options regarding his investment property as well as the tax implications should he decide to sell.

That he can have absolute confidence that with good planning he can indeed ensure that he can protect Richard future when he is no longer around.

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