Gifts to Grandkids

The end of the year is upon us. So is the holiday season. You might be considering making gifts to your grandkids. Or perhaps to other people who are minors (or just young).

First a bit of good news. For the past four years, the federal gift tax exclusion amount has been $15,000. That has meant that a gift to virtually anyone — minor or not — under that figure meant no tax filings, no taxes and no liability. As of January 1, 2022, that exclusion figure will increase — all the way up to $16,000.

But that begs the real question: how do you make a gift to a minor? They can’t have their own bank accounts, sign their own tax returns or make investments of their own money. So how do you give them a substantial gift? And, by the way, what is “substantial”?

In this week’s Elder Law Issues podcast, we discuss some of the options — including UTMA accounts, 529 plans or other educational accounts, and establishment of trusts.

Which is right for your circumstance? The classic lawyer’s answer applies here: it depends.

Who knew it would be so hard to make gifts to grandkids? We did, that’s who. But we’d like to try to make it a little easier for you to figure out.


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