What happens when a family has a (healthy) adult child who never leaves home, or returns home with no plans to leave? Friction (whether spoken or unspoken) grows between the freeloading child and the more responsible siblings.
This scenario becomes particularly painful when the parents become elderly, especially when the adult child “freeloader” continues to “mooch off of” the aging parents despite rising expenses and/or dwindling financial resources. In some cases, what started as mooching or simple irresponsibility may even rise to financial abuse of the aging parents. The responsible adult siblings, with lives of their own, may find themselves at their wit’s end. Often, everything comes to a head when the elderly parents need additional care and can no longer afford to financial support the adult child.
This is an increasingly common problem, given the recent economic conditions and the expanding retirement bubble of aging baby-boomers. Forbes recently explored this conundrum in an article titled “What Siblings Need to Do About Aging Parents and The Family Freeloader.”
So, what can you do? While there’s no “one size fits all” solution for every family, two things are for sure: 1) you will need to deal with it, and 2) the earlier you start planning for day when your parents can no longer support the freeloading child, the better off everyone will be.
Out of concern for everyone, and despite whatever family baggage may exist, you must find a solution. In most instances, the first step is to consult with an Elder Law Attorney to ensure the protection of the elder parents, especially if financial elder abuse is suspected.
For additional information about steps you can take to protect your aging parents, or for answers to your other estate planning or elder law questions, please contact us at Peak Legal Group.
Reference: Forbes (September 16, 2012) “What Siblings Need to Do About Aging Parents and The Family Freeloader”