The AARP recently reported on the increase in the number of grandparents who are also caregivers for their grandchildren. Arrangements vary widely among families. Some grandparents live in intergenerational households, where their children and their grandchildren share a home with them. Others provide regular babysitting or childcare services for their grandchildren.
According to the latest census data, almost 1 million children are in the direct care of their grandparents, with neither parent present in the home. If you’re one of these grandparents, you’re likely facing challenges you didn’t quite expect, and experiencing the implications in every area of your life.
One of these areas is your estate plan. If your plan hasn’t been updated since your own kids left the nest – or before – you’ll want to consider some updates. For instance, especially if your grandchildren are with you on a permanent basis, you may want to consider buying more life insurance, or changing the beneficiary designations on an existing policy. You might want to take a second look at your beneficiary designations for other assets, such as retirement plans, as well.
And, because minor children aren’t allowed to take control of money they inherit, you might consider establishing a trust for your grandchildren. If you’ve adopted your grandchildren, you’ll want to be sure your Will includes a guardian and alternate guardian, in case you pass away while your grandchildren are still minors.
Your estate planning attorney can help you assess your situation, identify your current needs, and adjust your estate plan to meet those needs.