When your grandchild needed you, you stepped up and took on the parental role — and you’re far from alone. Roughly 2.7 million grandparents in this nation are spending their senior years raising their grandchildren.
For one reason or another, your child and their spouse or partner aren’t able to be there for their child, so you’ve taken charge. What happens, though, if you’re suddenly no longer around?
Caregivers need to plan ahead
The older you are, the greater the possibility is that you won’t live to see your grandchild reach adulthood. While you may hope that won’t be the case, you need to be prepared — for your grandchild’s sake.
As soon as you become your grandchild’s guardian, you need to:
- Designate a successor guardian for them. Ideally, this should be someone who knows your grandchild and is capable of guiding them to adulthood. While the court isn’t bound by your designation, judges usually give the prior guardian’s preferences a great deal of weight.
- Decide how your assets should be redistributed. You may have intended your assets to go to your adult children or your siblings, but now you have someone who will need everything you can give them. Your will should be revised.
- You may want to consider funding a trust. You can fund a trust with your estate so that the money is protected until your grandchild is grown. That will protect them against financial abuses if you’re not here.
When you’re going through difficult times with your family, it’s hard to focus clearly on everything you need to do. It helps to learn more about your estate planning options.