FAMILIES WITH GROWN CHILDREN
Is your finally nest empty?
I can close my eyes and hear a counselor at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches saying, in his East Texas twang, “Your nest ain’t empty ‘till your last kid’s last dog dies!” Whether your nest is empty by your definition or his, your children remain the focus of your concerns. That does not change.
At her 80th birthday party, we asked my mother if she had stopped worrying about us. Her answer, “No, and I won’t until the day that I die.” And she didn’t!
Concerns about Adult Children
After college comes the uncertainty of today’s job market. Once upon a time, workers in the U.S. typically had one employer and then retired. Today, staying with an employer for 10 years is unusual. Workers are mobile and so are their jobs! Globalization is rampant and jobs are moving all around the world in search of the best talent and the lowest cost. How will that affect your children – or their spouses?
Marriage, too, provides its own set of worries. It used to be that people got married and stayed married. Now, with the advent of “no fault” divorce, more than half of all marriages end in divorce. We even read about “starter marriages,” but the sad reality is that a second marriage is even less likely to succeed that a first. And, the divorce statistics appear to cut across all religious, ethnic, wealth, and social classifications. No one can say today, with any certainty, “Divorce is not a possibility for my child and his/her spouse.”
When I was growing up in San Antonio, I knew my parents’ banker. We went to the same church and saw each other every Sunday and at the Country Club. Their children were my classmates at school. They were in my parents’ social circle. Today, I don’t have a banker and the manager of the branch bank near my home is a 20-something college graduate who was in Chicago last month and may be in Santa Fe next month. That change in how our world works is symptomatic of the anonymization of America. With anonymity has come a profusion of litigation. Where once we would work things out with our neighbors, now we sue strangers! Plus, where my neighbor who knew my family would not hesitate to accept my Power of Attorney for my mother, the banker I don’t know sees only a potential liability.
In the past, it was common for people to leave their wealth outright to their children. Today, doing that risks what you have worked so hard to amass winding up in the hands of your child’s ex-spouse, a bankruptcy trustee, or a lawsuit creditor of your child. It does not have to be that way!
We know how to ease those concerns
In planning for your family, we give you the opportunity to insulate your children’s inheritance from all those risks. Some children are a risk to themselves. We can deal with that, too.
As your Personal Family Lawyer™, I will keep up with you and your family and help you keep your estate plan current, adjusting it as appropriate for the inevitable changes in wealth, family circumstances, and the law.
Are you ready to let us help you? CLICK HERE.