The Sandwich Generation – Supporting Parents

By Louis Jay Ulman, Senior Principal Many of my clients are in the “sandwich generation” meaning that they are raising their children and also assisting Mom and Dad.  When I work with these clients I am often called upon to protect the inheritance of our clients’ children and to make sure that our clients’ Mom and Dad have appropriate legal documents in place so that our clients can manage for them in the event they become disabled.  I am also often asked to try to minimize the families’ estate taxes and protect assets in the event of a nursing home stay. One overlooked area in connection with this planning is that I sometimes see children who are assisting Mom and Dad financially or who believe they may be called upon to assist Mom and Dad in the future.  These same clients have typically set up trusts for their children in order to protect the children’s inheritance against immaturity, bad marriages and creditor issues.  What I often do for clients in these positions is to allow the trustees for the children to also provide financial assistance for Mom and Dad should the need arise.  It is not complicated to add Mom and Dad as additional beneficiaries to the trust for children.  If you are helping Mom and Dad or planning to do so in the future, they can be added to a trust for your children.  If you do so, please make sure that it is done in a way so that the trust is not considered as an available resource if Mom or Dad goes into a nursing home.