Assistance to Loved Ones

We take a visionary multigenerational approach in planning for the long-term by building a roadmap to help you provide assistance to those you care most about

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What Activities Constitute Assistance to Loved Ones?

An important aspect to consider when assessing the seven pillars of financial planning is your desired level of assistance to loved ones.  This may encompass planning for those you care about, those who may live in your household, and your activities that may impact them.

By planning for the assistance to loved ones, you prepare for a variety of situations that can occur during your lifetime.  This may include caring for children or grandchildren, helping adult children and other family members, paying for college, making major purchases, changes in marital status, caring for aging parents and keeping them safe, and even providing for the care for a loved family pet.  Below we cover some of the more popular ways to offer assistance to loved ones.

Tuition Planning / Education Expense / 529 Plans

Helping fund the education of a loved one may be a dream of yours and there are a variety of ways to accomplish this.  Some ways to provide future opportunities for your college-bound family members include UGMA/UTMA, 529 college savings plans, and other avenues.

Benefits of education savings

    • There are no contribution limits
    • Transfers are completed as gifts and qualify for the annual gift exclusion
  • No restrictions are imposed on the use of distributions, as long as the distributions are for the minor’s benefit

Tradeoffs for educational savings

  • A custodial account is considered a student asset when calculating financial aid eligibility
  • Custodianship terminates as early as age 18, depending upon state law
  • Income taxes may be subject to Kiddie Tax rates

UTMA / UGMA Custodial Account

The Uniform Gift to Minors Act (UGMA) established a simple way for minors to own securities without requiring the services of an attorney to prepare trust documents or the court appointment of a trustee.  The Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) allows an appointed custodian to manage the minor’s account.  In many states, accounts do not terminate until age 21, though most states give 18-year-olds the legal status to open new accounts on their own.  Because minors typically become old enough to receive legal control of UTMA accounts during their college years, these funds give students a good way to pay their extra expenses.

Roth IRA’s for Children

The Roth IRA is most commonly used as a vehicle for retirement savings, however, the rules governing withdrawals provide for an advantageous exception when it is applied to qualified higher education expenses.  If a child plans to work part-time during the school year or the summer break, he or she will have earned income and could potentially begin contributing to a Roth IRA, depending upon your state.

Caring for Aging Parents College savings plans Pet trust shows woman and her dog. What do you do with a financial windfall? Should You Save for Retirement or for a Child’s College Education?


Inheritance or Windfall

Whether you gain an inheritance of money, material assets like a house, a big lottery win, or some other windfall, the steps are generally similar.

  • Carefully consider any strings that may be attached to the windfall. You may find that there are limits placed on the money or assets you receive
  • It is likely you will have to adjust your current financial plans. People often build their plans around the resources they have before receiving any windfall
  • You may find that a large sum of money is easier to spend than anticipated. Your good luck may not linger, especially when splurging on a well-deserved big-ticket item
  • Anticipate business partnership schemes and hard-luck stories from family and friends.  Be sure to seek your investment advisor’s advice before making these types of investment decisions. An added bonus is that, for the sake of relationships, you will have someone to blame if you need to say “no”
  • Before making any final decisions about spending, saving, investing, or paying off debt with your windfall, seek the advice of a trusted advisor. It may be surprising, but there are many implications that can come with each


If you are among the “sandwich generation,” you may be supporting your aging parents as well as your children.  Managing senior living options and elder care for an aging parent, spouse or close friend can present difficult challenges.  We work with you to create strategies for managing the day-to-day affairs and medical decisions of those not mentally or physically able to do so.

Providing for the Care of a Pet

All U.S. states have enacted legislation authorizing the establishment of pet trusts.  If you are worried about a fur baby, you can formally plan for the care of your pet in your estate planning.  With a pet trust, a pet owner can designate an individual to care for a pet after his or her death and provide funding for the pet’s ongoing care.

Just knowing that you are prepared to help those that matter most to you can be a comfort. You’ll find many of these topics and more covered in-depth in our blog articles, on our podcast Your Money Momentum, and in our monthly Momentum Newsletter.

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