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Estate planning is an important tool that everyone should utilize, regardless of their family structure. However, grandparents have some special considerations to make when setting up their estate plan. Without specifically designating what should be left to your grandchildren, you run the risk of them not having the financial security you were hoping for.

Stafford Law Firm is here to help make sure you have considered everything when creating your estate plan. We understand the intricacies and emotional challenges many grandparents face when planning for their future and want to make this process as easy as possible.

If you are looking to begin estate planning, or need to update an existing plan to make sure your grandchildren are included — Give us a call.

What Is Unique About Estate Planning For Grandparents?

No matter the details of your family structure, you should have an official estate plan in place.

Whether you realize it or not, everyone already has an estate plan. The state has a process it will follow anytime someone passes away without another plan in place. This will cause your family to have to deal with the challenging and heartbreaking probate process and will likely not end up inheriting your estate in the way that you envisioned.

In order to help your family avoid this outcome, you will need to put an estate plan in place that takes your wishes into account. If you have grandchildren and would like to make sure they receive a designated portion of your estate without it first flowing through their parents, you will need to take some specific steps.

Leaving your entire estate to your children could, unfortunately, lead to the assets being depleted before there is even a chance of passing anything onto your grandchildren. It is impossible to predict the future, but it is possible to plan for it.

Many grandparents want to start saving early for their grandchildren’s futures and would even like to pass on some of the assets before they pass away. There are some great savings tools that many grandparents choose to use for this purpose. The most common are education savings tools which allow you to save for your grandchildren’s college tuition and help them be able to afford the school of their dreams.

Planning For Whatever The Future May Hold

You want to work with a lawyer that’ll take the time to develop a personal relationship with you. They should take the steps necessary to fully understand what it is that you want for your family’s future, and what legacy you would like to leave behind.

The challenge comes from the unimaginable number of scenarios you want to prepare for with your estate plan.

If you were to become suddenly ill and unable to take care of yourself, what would you do? Who would see to it that you are taken care of? Who would make important health and financial decisions on your behalf? Without a documented plan, the courts would have the ability to designate a guardian or a conservator without regard to your wishes. If you already know that one of your children or grandchildren would be best suited to take on this responsibility, it is important to make those designations long before they are necessary.

A commonly unforeseen estate planning issue that grandparents run into is when their children contest the will they set up and object to part (or all) of the estate being left to grandchildren. Most people would never expect their children to contest their will, believing that their wishes would be honored no matter what. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

In order to be certain that your grandchildren are able to inherit the portion of your estate that you intend to leave for them, you will need to make sure your estate plan is thorough and covers all of your bases. Here at Stafford Law Firm, we have the knowledge and experience necessary to make sure your estate plan protects your family in the way that you desire.

Keeping Your Estate Plan Up-To-Date

Every time your family tree expands, part of your celebration should include updating your estate plan. Whenever your children or grandchildren get married, divorced, have or adopt children, or change the structure of your family in any other way, you will want to reevaluate your estate plan.

Having an estate planning lawyer you trust and who has a full understanding of your wishes for your estate plan makes keeping it up to date easier than you might imagine. Every time something in your family changes, you can simply call us up, let us know of the exciting change, and we can work with you to make sure your documents reflect this change and any impact it has on your estate plan.

Estate Planning For Grandparents And Families Of All Shapes And Sizes

Your estate plan needs to evolve as your family grows and changes.

Allow us to help you create a plan that will be there when your family needs it most. Regardless of what your family tree looks like — Stafford Law can help you prepare for the future.

Frequently Asked Questions

There are many different ways to go about putting money aside to leave for your grandchildren. Some of the most common saving tools grandparents use include:

  • Designated savings accounts
  • Education savings plans
  • Prepaid tuition plans
  • Trusts

It’s no secret that most grandparents absolutely adore their grandchildren, and as such, they want to make sure these grandchildren receive an inheritance. If you have grandchildren, there are several ways of structuring your estate plan in order to make sure you leave a portion of your estate directly to them when you pass away. An estate planning attorney will be able to advise you on the necessary documents you will need to put in place such as wills, trusts, and other savings tools.

Setting up a trust for your grandchildren is an excellent way to pass along your legacy and help make sure they have some financial security in their future. A trust can help them pay for college or even cover a down payment on a house. The best way to go about setting up a trust is to work with an experienced estate planning attorney. They will be able to make sure you set up the correct type of trust and that trustees and beneficiaries are correct.