If you have children or grandchildren under 18- A LOT

At one time, the most famous actor in the U.S., Jackie Coogan expected to receive his riches upon reaching adulthood. Instead, he learned that his high-living parents had spent every cent! Outraged legislators across the country scrambled to enact laws to keep parents away from their kids’ money. Because of these laws, if we leave assets directly to a youngster, either in a will or as a back-up beneficiary of a life insurance policy, there will be Court oversight. As you can imagine, this “help” comes at a price. Far better to take the time to create trusts for your little loved ones. You don’t have to put anything in the trust now. You would simply name the trust, instead of little “Emily” directly. This will keep the government at bay, will prevent the money from counting against the child when it comes to college financial aid, and will also keep the money safe from inexperienced decisions (think young dopey marriage….). When it comes to Estate Planning, One Size Does Not Fit All!

Ann-Margaret Carrozza, Esq. is an author, TV contributor, Elder Law and Estate Planning Attorney. She previously served as a NYS Assemblywoman for 14 years. Offices in Port Jefferson Albany and Bayside www.myelderlawattorney.com