What You Can Do to Make Sure Your Grandchildren Get Their Inheritance

What You Can Do to Make Sure Your Grandchildren Get Their Inheritance

If one of your estate planning goals is to leave behind assets for your grandchildren, there are several steps you can take to accomplish this.

The most important decision you can make is to have open, frank discussions about your estate planning goals with your adult children. If you want to be certain assets pass down to your grandchildren, you will need to make sure your adult children separate inherited assets from any that could be categorized as marital assets, so those inheritance assets will be protected in the event of a divorce or remarriage.

In most states, inheritances are exempt from divorce settlements, but there are too many circumstances in which beneficiaries accidentally make this issue much more difficult due to commingling of assets in joint accounts.

Being specific with bequests

There is another, more direct way of ensuring your grandchildren get an inheritance, and that is to make a specific bequest to your grandchildren in your will. This bequest could note a specific dollar amount or percentage of your estate value for all surviving grandchildren. If those grandchildren are young, you may need to set up individual trusts on their behalf so those assets will be managed and protected until they are old enough to handle the inheritance responsibly.

You can also name grandchildren as beneficiaries on retirement accounts or investment accounts of certain types. An individual retirement account (IRA), for example, can be left directly to grandchildren, but you’ll need to plan that carefully if you want to stretch out the distributions over time.  Current law places substantial limitations to stretch payments that were once allowed over the beneficiary’s lifetime.

For more information about strategies you can employ to pass an inheritance to your grandchildren, contact an experienced Tampa, FL estate planning attorney at BaumannKangas Estate Law.