A mum, dad and child hold hands as they walk along a beach

How to protect your children from their teenaged brains

US scientists presented research recently at the American Association for the Advancement of Science which suggests that many young people do not become adults until about the age of 25. The scientists report that adolescent tendencies to “sensation seek” increase as people leave home, away from the influence of parental guidance, potentially leading them to continue to act like teenagers into their 20s. It was reported that this effect was halted when the young person acquired adult responsibilities such as a job and family. Given that many young people remain in education now well into their 20s, and the age of having a first child is increasing, it is easy to see how the brain’s maturation process could be delayed until at least 25 if the research is correct.

Many parents might agree with the researchers’ conclusions and, if so, it would be wise for them to think beyond the headlines and consider how they arrange their affairs.

All parents hope that their children will be much older than 25 when both parents have died, but accidents and unforeseen illnesses do sadly happen. If parents do not make a Will then their children could potentially become entitled to their parents’ estates at the age of eighteen. It would be a rare 18 year old who could manage a large sum of money at that age, and many would make unwise decisions or become prey to others’ influences. By comparison, if parents make a Will then they can stipulate that their children do not receive their assets outright until they are 25, and in the meantime the money would be invested on their behalf. If the children need funds for a sensible reason beforehand, perhaps for an educational purpose or to set up a business, then these could be made available to them.

By arranging their affairs in this way parents can minimise the chances of their hard-earned wealth being spent on frivolous life choices and ensure that their legally adult children are protected until they reach neurological adulthood.