If you have the need to create an estate plan there is little doubt that you understand the value of education and how it fundamental it is to wealth building. There are exceptions of course, but in a very real sense you determine your own future economic status when you are in college depending on the course of study you embark on and how far you take it. True as this may be, many young people have financial constraints in this regard and they may veer away from the elite schools and post-graduate programs due to the limits of their parents’ budget and a reluctance to incur a lot of student loan debt.
This reality makes educational gift giving a very good choice for many people who are planning their estate. If your grandchildren are around college age, and you know that you are going to be able to pass along a significant inheritance to them someday, you may want to consider giving them educational gifts. According to the tax code you can pay the tuition of as many people as you want to, regardless of the total cost, and these gifts are not subject to the gift tax. Plus, they do not impact your $1 million gift tax exemption.
Depending on the specifics of your particular situation, your grandchildren may be settled into a lifestyle when you pass on that would be entirely different if they had been given educational gifts. The one-time inheritance that they receive may be used to pay debts that would have never existed had they gotten a more complete education years earlier. A check lasts for a while…but an education lasts for a lifetime. When you are planning your estate, give this equation a lot of thought.