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How Not To Help Your Children Financially: Advice From An Estate Planning Lawyer


From an estate planning perspective, there are no right or wrong answers about how much or how little money to give your adult children.  As long as you have enough money left over for your own retirement expenses and healthcare, you can continue to spoil your children and grandchildren as much as you want.  If, instead, you have given your children the gift of self-reliance, you might choose not to give them any monetary gifts or pay any of their expenses once they reach adulthood, and you can leave your estate to them or to other people or institutions that you think need the money more.  The important thing is that, if you give money to your children, it is money that you are sure you can afford to give.  Almost everyone who visits an Orange County estate planning lawyer has set the goal of not having to depend on their children financially in their old age.

Beware of Parent PLUS Loans

Student loan debt is the next big financial crisis in American society, and not just for students.  Parents who took out loans to pay for their children’s education also find themselves overwhelmed with debt.  Parent PLUS loans, available to the parents of undergraduate students, are almost too easy to qualify for and allow borrowers to borrow as much as they need to pay for their children to complete bachelor’s degrees, leaving many thousands of parents struggling to repay them.  The income-based repayment option for Parent PLUS loans is enough to put a dent in anyone’s estate plan; you pay 20 percent of your disposable income for 25 years.  In other words, you put your money toward paying back your children’s student loans instead of toward your own retirement.

Being There for Your Children When You Can’t Fund Their Education

Estate planning lawyers are not here to tell you that you should value material things over family ties.  Your long-term plans may mean staying close to your children for the rest of your life.  If you don’t have the money to help pay for your children’s education, do not borrow it.  Instead, let your children move back into your house, if they ever left.  If they have children and you live nearby, provide free childcare if you are healthy enough.  Even better, an estate planning lawyer can help you maximize your savings and investments so that you can provide more financial support to your children in the future even if you can’t do it now.  Estate planning is not just about writing a will; it is about planning a future for you and your family.

Contact Us Today for Help

Borrowing money is usually not the first step to prosperity, especially if you are old enough that your children are in college.  An Orlando estate planning lawyer can help you turn your financial reality into an estate plan that reflects your values.  Contact Gierach and Gierach, P.A. for a consultation today.



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