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Adult adoption: A viable estate planning tool

When you hear the term "adult adoption," you might chuckle a little because the concept seems so absurd. Most legal adoptions occur between minor children and their new guardians, so why would someone want to adopt a grown-up? The answer lies in the value of the practice as an estate planning tool. Even though it sounds silly on the surface, adult adoption can be a strategic practice that helps build a solid estate plan for many Florida residents.

A recent court ruling in the state of Florida demonstrated the effect that adult adoption can have on an estate. A man had chosen to adopt his adult girlfriend, but the court chose to invalidate his decision when he died, reverting back to another estate plan. The man had set most of the correct legal machinery in motion, but he forgot one critical component. Instead of just proceeding with the adoption, he should have notified all financially interested parties. That is, he should have simply told his ex-wife and children that he was going to adopt his girlfriend.

In fact, a variety of adult adoption claims have been successfully used in estate planning ventures. One relative of a Florida family decided to adopt a 27-year-old Pennsylvania woman after the younger person's parents died. The older woman had cared for the younger woman, serving as her godmother, paying for her college education and otherwise providing for her. As a result, she was able to successfully adopt the woman, bringing her into a trust from her own father that had included provisions for adoption. Every party was able to share in the trust because of the structure of the adult adoption.

Adult adoption is a fairly complicated issue that cannot be completely explained in our short blog. This nuanced estate planning tool should be used with the advice of a qualified probate attorney. If you are seeking more information about adult adoption as an estate tool, consider speaking to an experienced lawyer to find out more about your options.

Source: www.marconews.com, "It's the law: Adult adoption may be an estate planning tool" William Morris, Jul. 05, 2013