Case Study

Ensuring a Dignified Retirement for a Father After Immigrating


    This case examines the concerns of Ms. An, a 53-year-old woman, regarding her father's well-being and financial security after her family's decision to immigrate to the United States. It emphasizes the importance of comprehensive planning and introduces the concept of a family trust to address these concerns.


Case Background:

    Ms. An, hailing from an ordinary family in a fourth-tier Chinese city, had worked diligently with her husband for several decades and accumulated substantial savings. Her son, now settled in the United States with a family of his own, encouraged Ms. An and her husband to retire in the U.S., envisioning a joyful family reunion. However, this decision led to unexpected challenges.

    After the passing of Ms. An's mother due to illness, her father had been living with his brother's family in their hometown. Although her sister-in-law had voiced her grievances, Ms. An's financial support had kept the peace. However, two years ago, her father suffered an accident while in the park, leaving him with debilitating after-effects. Citing the need to care for her grandchild, Ms. An's sister-in-law refused to provide care for her father. Consequently, Ms. An hired a full-time caregiver to assist her father with daily activities.


Concerns for the Future:

    Ms. An contemplated providing her father with retirement funds before departing for the U.S., as long as he remained coherent. However, she worried about unforeseen changes and the risk of unscrupulous caregivers taking advantage of her father's vulnerable state. There have been numerous reports of elder abuse by caregivers, and the prospect of her father living alone with no immediate family nearby raised concerns.


Retirement Planning Risks for the Elderly:

Elderly individuals face four significant risks in retirement planning:

  1. Health-related risks.
  2. Risks stemming from their children.
  3. Investment and financial risks.
  4. Risks associated with domestic staff.


A Comprehensive Approach to Retirement Planning:

    To address these challenges, we recommend that Ms. An establish a family trust for her father's retirement funds. In this setup, her father will be the beneficiary, and a trustee company will regularly disburse funds for his daily living and medical care expenses. Additionally, Ms. An's brother can be designated as a supervisor, alongside the trustee, to ensure that caregivers are diligent in caring for their father.


Key Benefits of Using a Family Trust for Elderly Care:

  1. Personalized Customization: Trusts can be tailored to the specific needs of the grantor.
  2. Legal Efficacy: From a legal standpoint, the trustee, as a supervisor, can exercise oversight.
  3. Long-term Planning: Family trusts provide long-term asset planning and security for beneficiaries, ensuring a stable retirement.


    Caring for elderly parents is an expression of filial piety, especially when distance makes constant caregiving impossible. Establishing a family trust provides an arrangement that not only ensures the well-being of family members but also offers peace of mind to children living abroad. If you have similar needs, we encourage you to consult a trust advisor.

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