Regardless of your age, you are encouraged to have some sort of estate plan in place. Ideally, you will have a will, trust or other basic documents to ensure that assets such as a car, bank account or Pennsylvania home go where you want them to after you pass. If you are a grandparent, having an estate plan may also ensure that your grandchildren can look forward to a secure financial future.
Add them as beneficiaries
If your grandchildren have reached the age of majority, they can be added as beneficiaries on a life insurance policy. They can also directly inherit property that is accounted for in a will or trust. Therefore, if you wish, they can inherit your house, car or other items that may have a sentimental or financial value.
Update your will or trust
In the event that your grandchildren are minors, you can still include them in your estate plan. However, you will have to pass their inheritance to an adult who will serve as a custodian. Items placed in a trust will be managed by the trustee per your instructions. Distributions can be made in a lump sum or over an extended period of time after your grandkids are old enough to receive them.
Talk to your grandkids
It may be a good idea to have conversations with your grandchildren as part of the estate planning process to let them know what you would like them to do with their inheritances. You may also want to talk to your children about how you would like your assets to be used. For instance, you could ask that money be used to pay for college, acquire a plot of land or on something else that would help solidify your grandchildren’s future.
Having a comprehensive estate plan can make it easier to settle your affairs in a timely and direct manner. It can also make it easier for an executor or trustee to allocate assets as you intended and in a manner that minimizes the odds of family conflicts.