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Keep these tips in mind for gifts for future and current college graduates.

Looking forward to a graduate in the family?


You can help make it happen by paying directly to the college or making a gift of up to $16,000. But talk to your elder lawyer first: gifting within five years before you need Medicaid could rob you of months of Medicaid-paid nursing or home health care.

Have a college graduate this year?


You can help launch your graduate into the brand new world of adulting with a Medical Power of Attorney, a Durable [Financial] Power of Attorney and invaluable financial advice. Student loans must be repaid. An emergency fund must be built up. But maybe that old clunker can last a while longer. If your graduate opens an Individual Retirement Account, the miracle of compound interest will begin. In addition, up to $10,000 can be withdrawn penalty-free for the down payment on a first home. You, too, can withdraw up to $10,000 penalty-free as a “matching gift” toward this down payment. Your new graduate may not realize it yet, but homeownership is the first line between “haves” and “have nots” in America.

Free legal documents are available here: Resources for Estate Planning


Elder law attorney, Terry Garrett, is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is an Approved Guardianship Attorney. She assists people in elder law, estate and special needs planning, guardianship and settling estates. She graduated with honors from Cornell University. She was on the Dean’s List at Wharton Business School. She earned her J.D. at Columbia Law School, receiving the Parker Award and a Mellon Fellowship.


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