Am pushing 80 now, and have a 4 yr old Grandson.
Sure helps in keeping one young !
Am thinking that I would like to set up some kind of Trust for him.
Know nothing about Trusts, and will certainly consult with a Financial
Planner and/or Attorney soon, but would like to learn about the various
Apparently there are a zillion Trusts, and ways of implementing.
Went to B& N today, but surprisingly could not find any
book devoted to Trusts. A few pages here and there, but nothing in any
depth, or devoted to.
Quite surprising. Not evena "Dummies Book" on the subject.
So, might anyone suggest a "good" book I can buy that does a
decent job of explaining for the layman ?
BTW: what's the most popular type; would assume he would get the $ when
he would reach early 20's, about 15 yrs or so from now ?
Or, is there no "most popular" type for a Grandson ?
Thank you all very much,
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That depends on a variety of factors. What is the money /intended/ for? If it's for college,
for example, you may do just as well -- or better -- either opening a 529 yourself or having
your son or daughter opening one and making a contribution to it (these two alternatives
have substantially different impacts on potential financial aid, by the way).
You could open a UTMA account (trivial, but, again, depending on what the money is for,
may make perfectly good sense -- noting that the kid simply gets the money when reaching
a certain age ("age of majority" varies by state, plus there are some exceptions such as
the one in California which can make it last until 25)).
You could also specify a trust as a beneficiary of your IRA - which, of course, has both
advantages and disadvantages, and if you do so, make sure the trust is written properly
in order to allow the possibility of "stretch" distributions over the child's life.
Two well regarded books, neither of which, I think have been updated in several
years, are the following (one explicitly about types of trust, the other about inheritances
and which talks in very much layman language about some uses of them):
Shenkman's "The Complete Book of Trusts" (as far as I can tell, most recent edition is 3rd, 2002)
Condon's "Beyond the Grave"
UTMAs have been very common for a long time - they cost basically nothing to set up
and have no administration overhead. But do they do what you intend for them to do?
A long time ago, they were used commonly to save for college and to have the savings
taxed at the kid's rates rather than the parent's rate. Nowadays, they don't do either
of those things very well and there are much better instruments.
Do consult with a professional - it's easy to mess this up, and it's important, if you
do draft a trust, that the trust does what you actually intend it to do and that it doesn't
have undesired side effects.
But you're right - it's always good to do some research before seeing the professional.
It's really a very personal and individual issue. Do make sure you have a good idea of
what you intend the money to be used for.
It may also make sense to simply give the money to the parents -- if not in the 529,
maybe even directly and without any trusts involved at all. "Hey, son -- I'm giving
you this chunk of cash and I'd like you to use it for the benefit of my grandkid, perhaps
to send him to summer camp or something". If you trust your own kids enough (and they
have no creditors, say, or impending difficult divorces coming up), that also may be a
perfectly reasonable thing to do.