Estate Planners Find More Clients Are Raising Grandchildren

White Plains, NY (Law Firm Newswire) October 2, 2013 — Financial advisors and estate planning experts are seeing an increase in the number of grandparents helping to raise their grandchildren. For many, the added financial responsibility means plans for retirement must be put on hold.

New York Elder Law and Estate Planning Attorney Bernard Krooks

More than 2.6 million grandparents were raising grandchildren below the age of 18 as of 2011, according to the U.S. Census. Many households are disrupted due to underemployment, divorce, mental health or substance abuse issues or chronic illness. When adult children are not able to fully parent their own children, other family members often step in, and many times, custody of the children falls to the grandparents.

That addition to the household means that more funds are needed for food and clothing; add in school supplies, sports and leisure activities and even basic entertainment, and a comfortable budget for two retirees can quickly be stretched to the breaking point, not to mention the emotional toll.

Merrill Lynch ran a survey of retirees in early 2013. Thirty-five percent of responding grandparents stated that they expect they will have to provide financial support for their grandchildren: 43 percent of those respondents stated that they will be providing financial support; 38 percent believe they will be paying for housing; 30 percent will be paying for education; and 25 percent are planning to pay for health care.

Even when grandparents are not shouldering the entire burden, many grandparents report that they are helping to “bridge the financial gap,” paying for some items or providing ongoing monthly funds to help make ends meet. And when some families are more financially secure than others, issues of resentment can build. That and the tax implications of gifts and estate tax is why so many estate planning attorneys strongly suggest that families look into setting up trusts with specific guidelines.

In addition to looking at financial estate plan issues, any grandparents who are parenting or co-parenting grandchildren should speak with an attorney to make sure guardianship issues are formalized. A guardianship that must be declared through the courts during an emergency is unpleasant for everyone involved.

To learn more, visit http://www.elderlawnewyork.com/

New York Contact:
Maria M. Brill
Littman Krooks LLP
(914) 684-2100
mbrill@littmankrooks.com

New York City Office
655 Third Avenue, 20th Floor
New York, New York 10017
(212) 490-2020 Phone

Westchester Office
399 Knollwood Road
White Plains, New York 10603
(914) 684-2100 Phone

Dutchess Office
300 Westage Business Center Drive, Suite 400
Fishkill, NY 12524
(845) 896-1106 Phone

View Larger Map

  • Milestones That Can Turn YOU Into A Caregiver (When Occasional Help Becomes Full-Time Assistance)
    In a third of all American homes, someone is providing care for a loved one. When a son or daughter is caring for an elderly parent, occasional help with some tasks can move rather quickly into regularly providing care for such essential daily activities as eating, bathing and dressing. The speed of the transition can […]
  • Procrastination & Debt Have Serious Effects on Estate Planning
    Proper retirement and estate planning is the key to having the resources to enjoy one’s golden years and leave a legacy to one’s heirs. Two of the biggest obstacles to avoid on the way to these goals are procrastinating about saving for retirement, and accumulating unmanageable debt. It may be understandable that retirement is the […]
  • Relocation and Estate Clearance Services: The Anatomy of a Virtual Clean Out
    This week’s guest blogger is Leslie Josel, a nationally recognized expert on chronic disorganization and hoarding issues. Leslie has appeared on several episodes of TLC’s hit television show, “Hoarding: Buried Alive,” the Cooking Channel’s television special, “Stuffed: Food Hoarders,” “dLife-TV” and the nationally syndicated “The Better Show” as an organizing expert. She is frequently quoted […]