Leaving Your Grandchildren a Legacy
Compliments of the Slaton Schauer Law Firm, PLLC
Written By: The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys
I. Your Legacy
Memories made with grandchildren are some of the best. Still, we want to leave our descendants with more than simple stories to pass down to their own grandchildren. We want to leave a legacy. Fortunately, there are many ways to accomplish this aim. The most important part is the time we spend with the people we love. Secondly, we must minimize ambiguity in our estate planning. You may also choose to gift assets today so you can personally witness the many benefits your gifts bring your family, such as: helping your loved ones buy a home, assisting your grandchildren with college expenses, or helping your family with unexpected medical bills.
You can gift every grandchild approximately $16,000 annually and– if you’re married– you and your spouse can double the gift with no tax repercussions, regardless of how many grandchildren you have. Not only do you not have to worry about the taxes, but your grandchildren won’t have to count the gifts as taxable income! However, if you are contemplating applying for Medicaid, gifting could be problematic. So be sure to speak with an estate planning attorney.
If you’re concerned about gifting cash, instead you can opt to cover medical expenses and/or educational costs. You might also consider establishing a trust for the benefit of your grandchild. With this option, you can transfer money into the trust at any time. Other options include contributing to a 529 Account, which earmarks funds for educational purposes.
We all know that time is the one resource we can’t make more of. Time spent with family is the most precious time of all. For those who are able to make financial gifts in addition to their time, most also want to be sure their grandchildren have a solid start in life. With the many options available today, it has never been easier to guide your family in placing solid cornerstones into the foundation of their lives. Be sure to consult with a qualified estate planning attorney so that you know your financial contributions achieve the rewards you intended– and keep in mind that your time is the most valuable thing you can give to the people you love.