ARTICLE: Securing Their Future: Estate Planning Strategies for Grandchildren

Securing Their Future: Estate Planning Strategies for Grandchildren

Estate planning for grandchildren is a thoughtful way to secure their future, provide for their education, and ensure that your legacy benefits generations to come. By carefully planning your estate, you can make sure your assets are distributed according to your wishes, while also providing financial security and potentially reducing tax burdens. It involves a combination of trusts, savings plans, direct gifts, and other financial tools, each with its unique benefits and considerations. This guide outlines key strategies to consider when planning your estate with your grandchildren in mind.

  1. Trusts

Types of Trusts:

  • Revocable Living Trusts: Allows you to make changes during your lifetime and can provide for grandchildren after your death.
  • Irrevocable Trusts: Once set up, cannot be changed, but can provide tax benefits and asset protection.
  • Generation-Skipping Trusts: Specifically designed to pass assets directly to grandchildren, bypassing their parents and potentially reducing estate taxes.


  • Control over how and when assets are distributed.
  • Protection of assets from creditors and lawsuits.
  • Potential tax benefits.
  1. 529 College Savings Plans

Tax-advantaged savings plans are designed to encourage saving for future education costs. Contributions can grow tax-deferred, and withdrawals for qualified education expenses are tax-free. Grandparents can contribute and even retain control over the account.

  1. Gifts

Direct gifts can be made to grandchildren but be aware of annual gift tax exclusions (currently $18,000 per recipient per year in 2024) to avoid gift tax implications. Consider gifts for specific purposes, such as education or down payments on homes.

  1. Custodial Accounts (UTMA/UGMA)

Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) and Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) accounts allow assets to be transferred to a minor without the need for a trust. The assets are managed by a custodian until the child reaches adulthood (18 or 21, depending on the state).

  1. Life Insurance

Life insurance can provide a financial safety net for grandchildren. You can name grandchildren as beneficiaries or set up a trust to manage the proceeds.

  1. Wills

Clearly outline your wishes for the distribution of assets to grandchildren in your will. Consider appointing a guardian or trustee to manage the assets until the grandchildren reach adulthood.

  1. Consider Tax Implications

Be aware of estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer taxes. Proper planning can help minimize the tax burden on your estate and your beneficiaries.

  1. Communication

Discuss your plans with family members to ensure everyone understands your wishes. Consider involving grandchildren in the planning process when appropriate, to help them understand and appreciate the legacy you’re creating.

Roth Elder Law, PLLC offers personalized guidance tailored to your specific situation. We help navigate complex tax laws and ensure that your wishes are clearly documented and legally binding. To begin securing your legacy and providing for your grandchildren’s future, call our office at 607-962-6162, or fill out our intake form, and we will arrange a consultation to discuss your needs.

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We at Roth Elder Law, PLLC, believe in providing services in a way that clients can easily understand and meaningfully participate in designing and maintaining their estate plan for their loved ones, as well as be assured that their plan will be administered according to their wishes.