Don’t do what some grandparents and parents do. Don’t superfund UTMA and UGMA accounts. Those funds become the child’s at age either 18 or 21, depending on state law. Imagine what you would have done with $300,000 at age 21. Funds of that measure would likely have derailed your education and your life. And, even if you think of those funds as your own, they’re not. They can be squandered or seized in a lawsuit if your child runs into trouble.
UTMA and UGMA are great for your children’s own money earned by babysitting, lifeguarding, or mowing lawns. They are not a great way to fund an education, get assets out of your estate, or lower income taxes. Instead, we encourage you to consider grandchildren’s trusts (or children’s trusts), which continue to be used quite successfully.
Here are the benefits of grandchildren’s trusts (or children’s trusts):
- You create a legacy for the beloved children in your life.
- You provide loving guidance so the assets aren’t squandered or used to fuel an addiction or party life.
- The assets you pass in trust can’t be seized in a lawsuit, car accident, medical crisis, bankruptcy, divorce, business failure, or the like.
- Assets are removed from your estate, so you eliminate applicable estate taxes.
- Assets can be kept in trust, yet benefit your grandchildren, for their entire lives.
- The trust can be dissolved if assets get spent down to pay for education, starting a business, traveling the world, or whatever you instruct.
Would you like to consider a trust for the beloved children in your life? Let’s talk about what that might look like and how it would work. It’s likely easier than you think. You’ll be happily surprised at your options and the legacy you can create.