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20801 Biscayne Boulevard
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Miami, FL 33180

305-932-2293 Miami-Dade County
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Estate planning after adopting your grandkids

New statistics show that more grandkids than ever before are living with their grandparents. In a state such as Florida, which boasts a high population of elderly residents, this trend could have troubling consequences for estate planning among all demographics. Grandparents may assume the role of guardians for a number of reasons, including health concerns, social problems or military deployments. How they financially respond to this responsibility, however, relates directly to their ability to plan for the future.

Stepping into the role of parent for your grandkids can be a rewarding experience. You must provide a nurturing, stable home for the children, a luxury that they may not have had before moving in with you. As these changes are happening, you may be making moves to accommodate your own retirement needs, many of which did not include financial planning for kids' sports, medical needs, childcare provisions or other necessities.

There are a few legal steps you can take to protect yourself and your grandchildren during this major transition. It is essential that you establish some form of legal guardianship over the children; whether you formally adopt them is your decision. Next, you will need to create or revise your estate plan to accommodate your grandchildren. This could include changing beneficiaries on life insurance policies, altering provisions for trusts and even purchasing additional insurance.

Further, it is important that your family knows your wishes and needs in the event of a long-term care situation. You must ensure that your assets are protected, not only for your heirs, but also for your own future health needs.

If you have recently become physically responsible for your grandchildren, consider consulting a qualified probate lawyer to help you revise your estate plan. These relatively complicated legal documents could have serious ramifications if not properly completed. Your attorney can help you understand your rights and responsibilities where your grandchildren are concerned.

Source:  fiftyplusadvocate.com, "Raising your grandchildren? Estate planning a must" Linda T. Cammuso, Apr. 25, 2013