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. In addition, an increasing number of grandparents now live in the family home.
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. If the parents are still in the picture, you must take steps to ensure that the grandparent has the rights to help the child in an urgent situation.
So, grandparents acting as the primary caretaker for a grandchild must be sure to protect that child by:
- Executing a trust so that the grandparents’ assets are properly left to the minor child
- Naming a trustee to handle the property on behalf of the child after the grandparents are gone
- Creating a valid will to be sure all of their property is included in the trust
- 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.
Minnesota Estate-Planning Lawyers
An experienced Minnesota estate-planning lawyer can help walk you through the process of establishing a custom-drafted estate plan crafted to meet the specific needs of you and your family. For more information on estate planning in Minnesota, along with a variety of other topics, contact Chris Tymchuck of Unique Estate Law at (952) 955-7623. You can also visit the Estate Planning page of our website for an explanation of our unique process and get an idea of our fees as we believe the estate planning process should be transparent.