Skip to Content
US Videos

Estate-Planning Tips for Parents of Spendthrift Children

Estate planning expert and author Deborah Jacobs on the pros and cons of leaving assets to children through a trust.

Christine Benz: Another category, I would like to discuss, Deborah, would be parents of adult children and where the children have not shown a strong aptitude with money, what are often called spendthrift children. What are some estate planning considerations for parents who are in that boat?

Deborah Jacobs: Well, that the word spendthrift really runs across a spectrum. Some parents would say that a child who spends money on purchases that the parent disagrees with is a spendthrift, but I think here we are really talking about people who could blow through money because they either manage it poorly or people who spend compulsively to the point of financial ruin, and certainly a parent doesn't want to be in a position of leaving an adult child in a situation where that could happen.