Make estate administration easier when it comes to grandchildren

Grandchildren are a gift to many Georgia residents. If grandparents do not get the chance to watch them grow into adulthood, they might decide to leave them assets in their estate plans. How those arrangements are made could make estate administration easier for surviving family members.

Since minors cannot inherit or receive gifts of assets directly, they could be placed in accounts such as 529 college plans or those that comply with the Child Uniform Transfer to Minors Act. However, this would mean that all of the assets would be given to the grandchild all at once, which might not be the best option. Placing the assets in a trust could ensure that a grandchild receives the most benefit from an inheritance.

The creator (grantor) of the trust can specify the terms under which distributions are to be made to the beneficiary or beneficiaries. In addition, the assets held in the trust do not go through probate, which means that they could be made available immediately. Even minor grandchildren can receive benefit from the assets in the trust. In addition, a trust can help ensure that other family members, among others, will not squander the assets.

Without these measures, estate administration could be more complicated than it needs to be. A guardian would need to be appointed to safeguard the assets on behalf of a minor grandchild. Making arrangements in advance will prevent the additional time and cost needed to provide for his or her inheritance. Once a plan is in place, the grandparents and parents of a minor child could have peace of mind that he or she is taken care of after a Georgia grandparent passes away.

Source: lakeconews.com, "Estate Planning: Gifts and inheritance for grandchildren require planning", Dennis Fordham, Jan. 7, 2017

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