Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Gifters: retirement years on "the same side"

USA Today for this weekend Aug. 24-26 has a story by Mindy Fetterman, “Giving while living’ reshapes inheritances: for family and charity, more Americans are passing on their money long before they die.” This story was also reported on ABC Good Morning America Sat. Aug. 25.

The story emphasizes the desire of many families to hold themselves together, and that many parents, and not just the super rich, are setting up private foundations and appointing adult children to them. Of course, some kids may feel that they are being tethered, and may feel that strings are being attached to making the money they need.

This subject was touched on Friday night (Aug 24) on ABC 20/20 “Cheap in America” also, where giving was discussed and the role of adult children in wealthy families was presented.

The other side of this issue is, of course, the middle class and the lower income populations, who face increasing eldercare problems (let alone the issues with the medically uninsured.) For persons of more moderate means, it can be dangerous to give money to kids, and then run out of money for nursing home care, as federal law has now increased the lookback period to as long as six years.

Further, as noted in earlier posts on this blog (back to July 7) state filial responsibility laws may hit adult children in the future even with no money passed on at all.

"Giving," "Gifting," "Grifting" -- they are separate concepts.

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