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Oct . 08

Failure to launch new kids

I have noticed lately more than ever how many children live off their parents. In many cases, the parents are afraid to cutoff aid to a child who lives at home because they’re afraid they will hurt or lose the relationship. In almost every case, it seems like the situation could have been avoided with some thoughtful expectation setting, in writing, in advance. If the child would have signed off on the expectations early on, then when expectations were enforced early on and consistently, I think they would complain less and would actually respect the parent.

It would also be helpful to document family loans if they are sizable. Even if payback is not required, documenting that can avoid sibling suspicion or conflict when the parent passes. If payback is required, documenting terms including penalties or a plan in case of nonpayment can save a lot of trouble.

I also think consideration should be given to whether communication of the arrangement with other siblings would be helpful. It might be uncomfortable for the child who is getting aid, but that might not be a bad thing in the long run – it might encourage them to take more action to move out again on their own.

Most of this can and probably should be handled by the family. But Michaelson & Associates is here to share our expertise and experience with any family facing these challenges.

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