Values are also crucial legacy assets.
Early on, you can communicate the importance of honesty, humility, responsibility, compassion and self-discipline to your grandkids.
These virtues can help young adults do the right things in life and guide their financial decisions. Your estate plan can articulate and reinforce these values, and, perhaps, link your grandchildren’s inheritance to the expression of these qualities.
You may also make gifts with a grandchild’s education or retirement in mind.
For example, you could fully fund a Roth IRA for a grandchild who has earned income or help an adult grandchild fund their Roth 401(K) or Roth IRA with a small outright gift. Custodial accounts represent another option: a grandparent (or parent) can control assets in a 529 plan or UTMA account until the grandchild reaches legal age.
Make sure to address the basics. Is your will up to date with regard to your grandchildren? How about the beneficiary designations on your IRA or your life insurance policy?
Creating a trust may be a smart move. In fact, you can set up a living irrevocable trust fund for your grandkids, which can actually begin distributing assets to them while you are alive. While you no longer own assets you place into an irrevocable trust (which is overseen by a trustee), you may be shielded from estate, gift, and even income taxes related to those assets with appropriate planning.
This Grandparents Day, think about the legacy you are planning to leave. Your thoughtful actions and guidance could help your grandchildren enter adulthood with good values and a promising financial start.