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I know that I, for one, wouldn't want IRS entanglements caused by someone having an account registered in my SSN for my benefit but without my knowledge.

1. You can get a separate tax ID for a trust or similar.

2. Tell them but make it clear that they have no control. As they have no investments at this stage some slight extra tax from investment income might be viewed as a sign of success.

Mostly I was indicating that the parents' lack of ability to invest for themselves removes their ability to get a vote. The alternative is for the child to cut them lose and watch them sink safe in the knowledge that their parents never paid any income on investment income.

The tax impact really is the tail waging the dog in this discussion. Why are people so concerned about the slight income difference vs. the fact that someone's parents are heading to retirement with no assets to retire on AND the child thinks they need to do something to help. Which is the greater evil here?

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