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Unique Estate Law Blog

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Grandparents Raising Grandchildren

The number of children living with a grandparent continues to rise. A new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data? shows that 2.9 million children – a 6% increase from 2007 to 2008 – now live with a grandparent. About 41% of those children are also being raised primarily by that grandparent.

If a parent retains custody, then grandparents who care for grandchildren may not have the right to make medical, educational or financial decisions on behalf of the children for which they are caring. Further, without a valid will, grandchildren are not entitled to receive a grandparent’s property upon death.

So, grandparents acting as the primary caretaker for a grandchild must be sure to protect that child by:

  1. Executing a trust so that the grandparents’ assets are properly left to the minor child
  2. Naming a trustee to handle the property on behalf of the child after the grandparents are gone
  3. Creating a valid will to be sure all of their property is included in the trust
  4. Having the legal custodian execute a Health Care Directive so that the grandparent can make medical decisions for the minor child

If you are caring for a child without having legal custody, please contact an attorney to protect both your rights and the rights of that child.


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From within Hennepin County Unique Estate Law represents estate planning and elder law clients throughout Minnesota, including Minneapolis, Edina, Bloomington, St. Louis Park, Minnetonka, Plymouth, Wayzata, Maple Grove, St. Paul, and Brooklyn Park. The Minnesota law firm of Unique Estate Law focuses on all aspects of estate planning, including specialized wills, trusts, powers of attorney and medical directives for married couples, young families, blended families, single parents, gay families and those going through a divorce. Unique Estate Law also handles probate administration, asset protection, Medical Assistance planning, elder law, business succession planning, adoptions and cabin planning.



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