A dependent is a legal term that refers to a person who relies on someone else financially, emotionally, medically, and practically.

Typically, dependents are Minor children and depend on their parents, who act as Legal Guardians. However, a dependent can be an adult who requires the support of another person due to their age, disability, or other circumstance.

Being a dependent has legal implications, especially with respect to Inheritance, Guardianship, and the equitable distribution of a deceased person's Estate.

Most states have laws in place to safeguard the interests of dependents and ensure their adequate care after the death of a guardian, and financial support after the deceased's estate is Administered.

Many state laws automatically designate dependents as Next of Kin, or Heirs to the deceased's estate, and are eligible to Inherit a portion of the deceased Assets.

However, they may also be specifically named in the deceased's Last Will and Testament, Trust, Life Insurance policy, or other legal document as a Beneficiary to their estate.

This ensures that they receive specific Bequests when the Probate process has completed.

There are several types of dependents including:

Financial Dependents: These are individuals who, typically within a family, were financially supported by the deceased. This support could encompass covering daily living expenses, educational costs, healthcare expenses, and other financial obligations. Common examples of financial dependents include spouses, children, and sometimes elderly parents or other relatives.

Emotional Dependents: Emotional dependents are those individuals who relied on the deceased for emotional support, companionship, and caregiving. Such dependents often include children, spouses, or other Surviving Family members who found emotional stability and nurturing in their relationship with the deceased.

Practical Dependents: Certain dependents, especially the elderly or individuals with disabilities, may have depended on the deceased for practical assistance with daily tasks or caregiving. This form of support may encompass activities like meal preparation, transportation, or other personal care.