When a parent prepares a will, keeping distributions even among the children has advantages.
It is impossible to determine what one’s children will be doing in the future and what their incomes will be. The child who is a successful computer analyst today might be out of work in five years, and the actor now bussing tables may get his big break next year.
Gifts can be made as needed to children while you are alive and can afford it. For example, a child with children can be helped with college expenses by contributing to the grandchild’s 529 college savings plan. The IRS allows the equivalent of five years’ worth of gifts to be made all at once. Accordingly, one grandparent can give $70,000 per grandchild. Both grandparents can give $140,000 per grandchild.
On the other hand, a disabled child who is not independent will likely require a bigger share of the parent’s assets. A special needs trust can be utilized to get the maximum advantage from a gift by a parent or grandparent by keeping the gift from affecting eligibility of the disabled child for government programs and payments.
Contact an estate planning law firm for further information.