Some grandparents and their grandchildren have uniquely special and strong relationships, which can bring happiness and love to both parties. Both can grow from the intergenerational exchange of ideas and outlooks. Often, a grandparent’s wisdom and life experience can help to guide and provide food for thought to a grandchild, who can in turn support their beloved elder as they age.
At our law firm, we help clients create estate plans to facilitate their intentions about who should receive their money and property before or after death. Sometimes, those clients want to see that their grandchildren benefit in this way. The reasons for these bequests and gifts are as unique as the relationships from which they grow, but they have certain themes:
- To provide money for educational costs
- To provide for the costs of living
- To gift family heirlooms or personal property
- To leave investments, real estate or other assets
Above the Law published a thoughtful article on this topic last week in which the author wrote: “A bequest to a grandchild under a last will is an affirmative statement as to the grandparent’s love and recognition.” She talked about the situation in which a grandparent, rather than following the traditional practice of leaving their assets to a spouse and children, chooses instead to transfer some of their bounty to a grandchild. She stated: “[I]ncorporating grandchildren into one’s estate plan is a unique opportunity, no matter the size or constitution of the legacy … [to] ease the pain and sense of loss, when that generation has passed.”
An experienced estate planning lawyer can discuss with a grandparent client their goals for including grandchildren in their planning, providing advice about options like gifts, trusts, wills, 529 educational plans or other legal processes, including related tax planning.