Adult Adoption as an Estate Planning Tool

When asked to consider estate planning tools, most people will name common estate planning tools such as wills and trusts. A recent article discusses one of the lesser-utilized estate planning tools, adult adoption.

Most commonly, same sex couples use adult adoption in order to secure inheritance for one another. This strategy is not necessary in order to transfer personal assets. Through a will or other estate planning document, a person can direct his assets towards whatever person he or she chooses. Adult adoption, therefore, is most commonly used by the beneficiary of a trust who would like to direct the trust assets to the person of his or her choosing upon his or her death.

People considering utilizing adoption as an estate planning tool should be very cautious, however. Unlike marriage, an adoption is very difficult to reverse. If the relationship dissolves, chances are high that a now outsider will be left with a chunk of the family fortune because the adoption could not be or was not undone. Moreover, adoption can cause rifts within families who believe that they ought to inherit any remaining interest in a trust.

If you are considering adult adoption as an estate planning technique, speak with an estate-planning lawyer and discuss not only the process of the adoption itself, but how to reverse it, and any other legal ramifications you must be aware of.

For expert advice on your estate plan, contact us at (626) 696-3145.

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