Grandparents raising Grandchildren

The recession has caused a dramatic new development in child rearing. According to a 2009 Pew Research Center study, 2.9 million children were being raised primarily by their grandparents in 2008 – up 6% from 2007 and 16% from 2000. The census data attributes financial problems as the chief cause of the sharp rise in seniors now having to assume more “traditional” child-rearing duties.

These duties will cause a real strain on seniors’ budgets. Child care costs, like more groceries, clothes shopping, health care and activities can add up quickly. Depending on the length of time a grandparent will now be asked to assist in raising his/her grandchild, these expenses over time could be substantial.
These seniors may find themselves needing to readjust their time and money to accommodate their new and perhaps unexpected responsibilities.

In cases where resources are limited and already designated for long term care or nursing home expenses, it may make sense to consult with a New York elder law attorney. Prioritizing needs and allocating assets often takes an experienced counselor who possesses a broad view of existing financial and legal planning options. For example, a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust may be advisable to protect the assets ahead of time, since there is a five year “look-back” on this type of planning.

Statistic for this blog post came from The Wall Street Journal, 9/10/10

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