Estate Planning With Adult Dependents


Putting one’s affairs in order is rarely a process welcomed with enthusiasm. Still, it is a critical process to endure for the sake of those who you may leave behind, particularly adult dependents. 

Wills, Trusts, and other Estate planning aren’t just for those who consider themselves in a position of financial security or excess. They are for those interested in helping their family and other loved ones answer essential questions about what to do after they are gone. 

Quote: “Every adult needs a will. Wills handle decisions that apply to everyone, and not having a will does not mean these questions are not answered; it simply means you have no say in how they are answered.” — Patrick Hicks, head of legal for the online estate planning company Trust & Will

Adult Dependents Call for Extra Attention

For those caring for adult dependents, a will allows them to designate who they believe would be the best caretaker in their absence. Wills are also a matter of public record that the courts validate after your death.

For some families and individuals wishing for more privacy and less government intervention after their death, it may be appropriate to consider a trust. 

“There are many different types of trusts. You can create a trust while you are alive, and not surprisingly, this is called a living trust. For adult dependents, an important type of trust to be familiar with is a special needs trust. This trust protects your dependent’s state benefits while also enabling your dependent to get extra support from the trust,” says Mary Kate D’Souza, co-founder and the chief legal officer for, a boutique online estate planning software solution.

Others may choose a more comprehensive estate plan, which can offer essential information on how to help your adult dependents thrive in your absence. Of course, not all aspects of an estate plan are as legally binding as will or trust. Still, in some cases, it can be the most helpful way to ensure the best level of care for your loved ones and a way to offer continued support beyond the legal requirements after you leave. 

If you are curious about how to explore the best path forward for you and your family, reach out to your financial advisor or a local estate lawyer.


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