Adult Children Living With Parents

07/29/2013

Statistics and studies indicate that more and more adult chldren are living with their parents.  Sometimes these adult children are referred to as the "Sandwich generation" because these adult children are caring not only for their own children, but also for their aging parents.  Additionally, there is a  growing rate of individuals in their 20s and 30s (sometimes called "Boomerang Kids”) who left home for college, but came back after school to live with their parents.  These Boomerang Kids may have little choice in the matter.  High student loan debt and unemployment rates can prevent a young adult child  from affording rent or a mortgage. These individuals have another variety of estate planning concerns, including:
  1. Personal Residence.  If an adult child is living in their parents’ home – what will happen when their parents pass away? If the title of the home is exclusively in the parents’ names and they have not created an estate plan that outlines how real property will be distributed, the parents’ property will be divided according to intestacy law. This means the property will be distributed among all surviving descendants. If the adult child residing in the parents’ home has one or more siblings,  forced sale may ensue in order to satisfy estate distribution to the other siblings. This may or may not be what is wanted or intended. 
  2. Personal Representative Conflict.  Have parents chosen a personal representative and have they informed their representative of their expectations? Sometimes parents think it is logical to choose the child living at home as an representative, but the decision should be based on the individual’s character and ability.
  3. Long-Term Care and Retirement.  Adult children living at home who provide caregiving services for their parents may be sacrificing savings for their own retirement. Are other siblings contributing to these costs (and should they be)?

These are just a few things to consider.