When your adult child has a serious mental health condition, you want to help guide and care for them. However, a child who is no longer a minor must permit you to participate in decisions.
You can work to protect your loved one with good communication and proper estate planning for each of you.
Managing your estate
Planning what happens to your financial accounts, insurance policies and assets in the future requires unique considerations if your child has a mental illness that can affect decision-making skills. Consider vital factors, such as:
- Protecting accounts from misuse
- Ensuring your child can still receive government assistance
- Securing support for your child after you are gone
Planning the details of your child’s estate
Open communication can help your child create a formal strategy that addresses potential financial or health care concerns. Together, you can decide how to incorporate safeguards that meet potential needs, with measures such as a quasi-revocable trust or a durable power of attorney. Knowing your options helps you develop a plan that gives your adult child decision-making capabilities when appropriate but protects them from missteps during times when thinking is not clear.
If more control is necessary, you can petition for a conservatorship to further protect your loved one. As a conservator, you can make financial and care decisions for your child. Obtaining this designation in California requires a court process, so weighing all your choices before proceeding is essential.
Making sure your adult child has the funds, physical health care, and mental health care they need now and into the future is likely often on your mind. Start planning today to ensure an outcome that meets your loved one’s needs for various circumstances.