Grandparents Paying for College in Virginia

Grandparents paying for collegeCollege is extremely expensive for most families. When tuition, room, board, books and other miscellaneous expenses are all added in the total cost of a college degree is often in the six figures. Not wanting to saddle their younger family members with student loan debt, many families are struggling to find affordable ways to meets these expenses themselves.

 It used to be normal for parents to pay their children's way through college or for the children themselves to work their own way through. However, the cost of a college education is now so high that it is almost impossible for students to make enough to pay for it with part-time jobs. Many families  struggle enough to meet their current needs that they just do not have enough to pay for their children's education. Increasingly, paying for college education has become something that grandparents want to do. They have already earned their wealth and are in a better position than the parents to pay for college. 

A recent Reuters article examined how grandparents can pay for their grandchildren's college education while getting a tax benefit for themselves. The article, titled YOUR PRACTICE-Selling grandparents on the perks of 529 college savings plans,”suggests a 529 college savings plan. This unique account can be used to contribute more than the yearly gift tax exemption into an account that a grandchild can later use for educational expenses. The accounts are not perfect as they could make a grandchild ineligible for financial aid. 

Paying for college is difficult, but grandparents who want to do so have several options. A 529 plan is one of them, but in some cases a more traditional trust is a better option. The key is to talk to an estate planning attorney about your best options, in conjunction with your financial advisor. Different families have different needs. Your attorney and financial advisor team can help grandparents sort through the options to come up with the best solution for their needs. 

You can learn more about this topic as well as other strategies on our website under the tab entitled: estate planning in Virginia. Be sure you also sign up for our complimentary e-newsletter so that you may be informed of all the latest issues that could affect you, your loved ones and your estate planning. 

Reference: Reuters (July 18, 2014) YOUR PRACTICE-Selling grandparents on the perks of 529 college savings plans


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We've been putting together as many resources as possible so that we can continue to help:

  • If you’re a current client with a signing appointment or a prospective client with a consultation and would prefer that meeting take place in your own home, we can accomplish that with a little bit of pre-planning on our part and with the addition of a laptop, smartphone, tablet or other computer in your home to facilitate this virtual meeting. For those of you that need to sign legal documents, that too can be accomplished with the use of a webcam (FaceTime etc.), so that we can witness and electronically notarize all of your important legal documents.
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Update to our Process

The unprecedented coronavirus pandemic has taken our entire country by surprise. We understand how difficult this time is for America’s businesses and families.  However, we believe it is vitally important that we make every effort possible to continue to offer solutions that avoid disrupting our important partnership with you, your family and friends.  As you know, estate planning is not something that should wait for a more convenient time, therefore the opportunity to address your important goals both during and after this crisis should not wait.  To that end, we have added the option of a ‘virtual consultation’ to our office process.  You will now have a choice of either meeting with us in our office or in the comfort of your own home.