As a grandparent living in California, estate planning is important to you. You want to be sure that your grandchildren receive proper care in the event of your death or incapacity. However, there are many different estate planning strategies that you should consider before you begin. They include:
Whether your grandchildren are minors or adults
This is very important because estate planning for minors is different than estate planning for adults. Estate planning for minors might require the creation of a trust. You should do this before you complete estate planning documents for the minor children. This trustee or trustees will be responsible for all estate planning decisions if you pass away or become incapacitated. If your grandchildren are adults, estate planning may not require a trust, but you can certainly establish one if you wish.
Whether you have an updated record of your assets
Your estate planning attorney will need to know what your assets are. If you don’t have a record of your current financial situation, estate planning can be difficult and may not go as planned.
This is why estate planning for grandparents should always begin with an evaluation of the existing estate plan or living trust. Your attorney needs to know what estate planning documents you have and whether or not they are still valid.
Individual family factors
This includes estate planning considerations that are unique to each family. For example, if you have a grandchild who came into your family through adoption, there may be different estate planning issues for this individual. For instance, the estate planning documents may need a bit of updating so that they reflect the change in the family.
If you have multiple grandchildren, estate planning for each one is different and should get customized accordingly. Failing to consider estate planning for each grandchild individually could result in estate disputes and other legal problems.