Your children and grandchildren will both be appreciative if you include your grandchildren in your estate plan. The acknowledgement of your grandchildren makes memories, shows your love, creates family bonds, and carries on your legacy. Here are 7 ideas for ways to include your grandchildren in your estate plan; pick what works for you, discard what doesn’t.
- Set up a 529 Plan for each grandchild. 529 Plans are used to pay college expenses; the investments grow tax free and are distributed tax free when used for college costs. Other family members and friends can contribute to the same account. You can contribute small sums or large amounts, depending on your goals and financial situation.
- Write a love letter to be given to your grandchild at your death or upon the attainment of a certain age. Be sure to be in photographs with your grandchild; don’t always be the person taking the pictures. Frame a photograph and keep it with the love letter.
- Select a family heirloom or a special personal possession for each grandchild. Jot down why the item is special and why it’s being passed to that particular grandchild.
- Provide for a financial gift for each grandchild in your will or trust. Even a gift of $1,000, $3,000, or $10,000 will be exciting for your grandchildren.
- During your lifetime, pay for a special activity for your grandchildren. Examples would be music lessons, gymnastics, horseback riding lessons, sports camp, summer camp, or a class trip. You’ll get to see your grandchildren enjoy these activities.
- Sponsor a family trip such as beach house or a trip to ranch or lodge. Experiences are the best gift, even better than cash.
- Incorporate your grandchildren into your charitable planning. Let your grandchildren choose their favorite charity to receive a donation. Provide choices; they may choose the zoo, animal shelter, library, or literacy programs for other kids.
If you have grandchildren, we encourage you to include them in your estate plan in a way that makes sense for you. If you need guidance or helping implementing your plan, consult with a qualified estate planning attorney.