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Thanks Gramps! Planning Gifts to Grandchildren

October 29, 2013

Filed under: Beneficiaries,Estate Planning,Estate Planning for Children,Planning for Minors — Neel Shah @ 9:00 am

Often, grandparents who have extra money wish to assist their grandchildren financially. A recent article discusses three ways through which grandparents can give to their grandchildren.

Grandparents with a child

Grandparents with a child (Photo credit: Nestlé)

Write a Check

Many grandparents simply write checks to their grandchildren without thinking twice about it. Under current tax rules, a person can give as much as $14,000 per recipient per year, without tax consequences. If you would like to give an individual grandchild more than $14,000, consider using another vehicle to avoid tax consequences. Finally, remember that this type of gift is often calculated into a giver’s estate for the calculation of whether a person is eligible for means-tested government programs such as Medicaid.

Invest in a College Savings Plan

If you want to assist your children with paying for a college education, consider a 529 account rather than simply writing a check. With a 529, you can be certain that the money is spent exactly how you would like it to be spent. Additionally, 529 accounts offer important tax benefits that will not have any impact on your grandchild’s ability to apply for means-tested financial aid.

Use a Gift Trust

Finally, you can transfer money to your grandchild through a gift trust. A gift trust is an account that you set up where you or a named individual serves as the trustee. The trustee can direct the timing and use of any distributions made from the trust.

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