We’ve all passed a few dollars to each of our grandkids and we don’t really add it up. However, when it comes to our will, how much money should we leave to our grands?
I’ve remade my will at least half a dozen times. Partly because the kids and grandkids kept coming and I didn’t want it to be outdated. And partly, because I’ve changed my thinking.
I use to see the division of my estate as something that should be equally divided. Then, I decided to take a more biblical approach. When Moses and the patriarch’s of Israel handed out blessings and future predictions, they were based on their loved one’s character or lack thereof. Also, upon futuristic hopes. Some received longer and more detailed blessings and others short, sweet, or not so sweet.
When I take an honest look at my children and their children, I see many determining and hard-to-face factors. To give the same amount to each would be neglecting those who have remained connected as an integral part of the family’s functioning–including the work and expense.
There are a variety of ways to look at this sticky subject. 1) split your cash equally among your kids and grandkids. 2) Leave money only to your grandkids in equal shares. 3) Designate amounts according to the future educational and career goals of each. 4) Give completely based on relational closeness. 5) Skip the grands completely and leave your assets to charity to head-off any squabbling.
When You Desire to Give Specifically
Consider these guidelines when updating your will every five years:
- Which grandchildren should receive funds for college tuition?
- Which have big events coming? Marriage, new child, new house.
- Will any be eligible for that first car?
- Are there those whom you wish to bless with “love money?” That is, just because.
If you don’t have lots to shell out for big-ticket items, consider a smaller amount with strings attached. Have your executer do the shopping with or without the recipient. For James-$200 for his next longboard. For Shelly- $150 worth of manicures. Leah gets $50 for her next jigsaw puzzles and Liam $50 for his next set of die-cast cars.
How much should you leave to your grandkids? You decide. Only you.