One of the best ways to ensure that your grandchildren are provided for after your passing is through the creation of an estate plan. However, before getting started, there are a number of questions that your Mississippi estate planning attorney will need answered, including:
How old are your grandchildren?
In Mississippi, a grandchild under the age of 21 may not inherit property or money directly. Therefore, in order for a grandchild in this age range to receive inherited assets, a guardian must be appointed by the court to manage such property or money until the minor reaches adulthood. In the alternative, a grandparent may create a trust and designate a trustee to manage its assets until distribution.
How would you like to distribute your property?
Some grandparents don’t want to simply hand over large amounts of cash or expensive pieces of property to their grandchildren. Luckily, there are a number of ways to control the manner in which property is distributed to your beneficiaries. For example, a grandparent may provide in a will or living trust that distributions may only be used for things such as education, wedding, or the purchase of a first home. In addition, an incentive trust can be created that distributes payments to a grandchild as a reward for meeting specific goals.
What form would you like the distribution of assets to take?
An estate plan can be designed to distribute wealth in a number of ways, including:
Cash – A common and simple way to pass along money to grandchildren is through an immediate cash payment upon death, which can be facilitated by an estate’s executor or trustee.
Gifts – Grandparents can make gifts of property or money directly to their grandchildren during life. And if an estate’s value is under a certain amount, then a grandparent may face no tax consequences for gifting property to a grandchild.
Trust – Finally, a grandparent can create a trust or living trust that holds assets for a specified period of time before disbursement. And as noted above, trust payments to grandchildren can be structured in a variety of ways, allowing a grandparent to avoid giving a grandchild more money than he or she is capable of responsibly managing.
Mississippi Estate Planning Attorneys
At Palmer & Slay, we take pride in creating customized estate plans that fit the needs of our clients. Our Mississippi estate planning attorneys utilize our years of experience to identify and avoid potential pitfalls, including excessive taxation and creditor interference. In addition, we understand that not everyone is familiar with Mississippi estate planning, so we always take the time to answer any questions our clients have while making sure that they are involved in each step of the process. If you’d like to begin the Mississippi estate planning process, please contact us today for a consultation.