Estate planning is an important task for people of all ages, including California grandparents. As grandparents, you have the unique opportunity to leave a legacy for your grandchildren and ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes.
Create a will
A will is a legal document that covers how your assets will be distributed after you pass away. It is important to create a will as a grandparent to ensure that your grandchildren are provided for and that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. Your will should name an executor to manage your estate, and you should also name guardians for your grandchildren if they are minors.
Consider setting up a trust
A trust is an estate planning arrangement in which a trustee manages assets on behalf of the beneficiaries. Setting up a trust can be a good option for grandparents who want to leave a legacy for their grandchildren. A trust can be set up to provide for your grandchildren’s education, medical expenses and other needs. It can also help to minimize estate taxes and avoid probate.
Review beneficiary designations
Many assets, such as life insurance policies and retirement accounts, allow you to name beneficiaries. You should review your beneficiary designations regularly to ensure that they are up to date and reflect your current wishes. One potential option is to name your grandchildren as beneficiaries to provide for their future.
Gifting is another way to provide for your grandchildren. You can gift up to $15,000 annually to each grandchild without incurring gift taxes. You can also contribute to a 529 college savings plan for your grandchildren. This can help to ensure that they are financially secure.
Review your estate plan regularly
Regularly reviewing your estate plan is essential to ensure that it reflects your wishes. Life events such as births, deaths, marriage and divorce impact your estate plan. You should review your estate plan every few years or during a significant life event.
It’s never too late to plan
Estate planning is an essential task for grandparents. By creating a will, setting up a trust, reviewing beneficiary designations, considering gifting and reviewing your estate plan regularly, you can ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes and that your grandchildren are provided for in the future.