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Elder Law Question: Is Putting Bank Accounts or Property In My Kids’ Names a Good Idea?

It’s a common consideration to make in terms of keeping your legal assets safe when estate planning in Peachtree: just put them in your kids’ names to keep them from Medicaid liens or other unwanted taxation in case of death or grievous bodily injury. Unfortunately, there is almost never a good circumstance to make this establishment if planning ahead.


If not planning ahead, that’s the time to make something like this happen. In an emergency situation or a dire set of circumstances requiring immediate intervention to save your property or accounts, that’s when a decision like this is a good one to make. When the concern becomes protecting your assets no matter what, that is the perfect time to make this consideration. Otherwise, however, it’s generally considered unwise.


A true emergency dictates the necessity of the action; therefore, a true emergency is when these types of decisions make sense, because the outcome is so uncertain at that time. Doing so otherwise brings a cacophony of difficulties into play that then have to be managed on their own. What if, for example, your child becomes gravely ill or even dies? What if something happens to them which brings into question, in the eye of the courts, their soundness of mind or ability to reason?


Is this child married? How’s their relationship? Over 50% of marriages still end in divorce, so consider that if your child is still married then you are also bequeathing your valuable asset(s) to your son- or daughter-in-law. If they end up getting a divorce, your accounts or property may end up on the table of assets to be divided. Now of course you want to hope for the best for your childrens’ marriage. You also need to be prepared to accept that your valuable asset(s), or a portion thereof, may go to your child’s spouse in case of a legal separation or divorce. Nothing may be done about this; in the eyes of the law, an asset is an asset, and in the state of Georgia, assets that are acquired during the marriage are distributed equitably in a divorce, meaning that it’s not always a 50-50 split, but it’s usually 60-40 or something similar. Your child’s ex could actually end up with more than half of your assets if the courts find the distribution in their favor and while it’s usually close to 50-50, it can be 70-30 or even 100-0, depending entirely on the court’s findings. This is probably not the intended outcome for your assets if you place it in your child’s name.


Instead, work closely with your estate attorney to develop a plan of action well in advance of needing one, if possible. This gives the the opportunity to delineate and organize your debts and assets, and to ensure that they will be treated the way you would like them to be. Putting them into a child’s name is a good idea if absolutely necessary, but most people have plenty of time to plan so that it doesn’t become an absolute necessity. It’s good to have a plan for that in place, too, just in case…but certainly, you shouldn’t need to rely on one if you and your attorney are doing good estate planning and management all along, and well in advance.’


This is why it is so essential to hire a lawyer you trust. At Goldberg & Associates, we offer legal guidance for a lifetime, and we have the dedication and reputation established so that you know you are in the best of hands. Your estate planning professionals in Peachtree have seen it all and continue to thrive due to our diligence, flexibility and legal acuity. We know that you could go to any attorney, so why not go to the best attorney? Give Goldberg & Associates a call today.

At Goldberg & Associates, we specialize in handling elder law and elder law cases. All of our resources are at your fingertips when you work with Goldberg & Associates. We will do everything in our power to ensure the maximum amount that can be saved, will be saved for your retirement. No stone goes unturned at Goldberg & Associates; we are prepared to make sure you do everything you need to in order to max out those savings options, and make way for the time when you will get to retire.  

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Bob Goldberg

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