Category Archives: Living

What Do Grandparents Give for a Baptism Gift?

For most families, baptism is a meaningful ceremony that calls for a celebration. Being a special and significant event, gifts are always part of the ceremony, which also serves as reminders that kids can look back to. With the many baptism gift ideas available, it can be quite a challenge figuring out the perfect gift for your grandchild. If your grandchild is getting baptized and you are yet to pick a meaningful baptism gift, here are a few baptism gift ideas that can help you decide.

1. Jewelry

Jewelry pieces like bracelets, rings, earrings, and chains can stand the test of time and serve your grandchild for a long time to come. Adjustable bracelets, for example, can be adjusted to fit the wrist as the child grows. Keep them simple and classic, so they can be worn into adulthood. You can opt for a rosary necklace with birthstones on it for luck, or bracelets with heart charms or a cross on them. 

2. Personalized Frame or Photo Album

A customized photo frame complete with the baby’s name and date of baptism on it can make for a beautiful reminder of this special day. Better still, you can get your grandchild a photo album where all the baptism day pictures will be kept for years. Some photo frames even have essential writings on the back and a space for the image on the front.

3. Baptism Outfit

A baptism outfit can really come in handy during the christening of the child. A suit for the boy or a gown complete with a headband for the girl is a simple but meaningful baptism gift that the parents will appreciate. An heirloom gown for your female grandchild can be passed on to future generations to be used during the baptism.

4. Toys

Toys contribute greatly to the development of the child and also give the parents time when the baby is playing. Kids at this stage are quickly developing and learning new skills like communication and motor skills. As such, musical instrument toys or those that make sounds when manipulated are ideal for their development. Since babies like putting things in their mouth, ensure they are safe and not small enough that they can swallow them.

5. Gift baskets

Gift baskets can have different content depending on the gender of the baby. You can have a gift basket and include booties, hats, and shoes for the boys or bonnets and headbands for the girls. Diapers, baby soap, and powder, as well as blankets, are also baptism gift ideas that would really come in handy for the parents when taking care of the baby.

6. Bible and Cross

A bible and cross gift indicate your support for your grandchild’s religious journey. A wooden or golden cross engraved with the name of the baby is a meaningful baptism gift that can sit in the kid’s room or the bookshelf. Gifting your grandchild with a bible and personalized cross not only shows your support in helping the child develop with ethical values and beliefs but also shows effort.

7. Money

Money as one of the baptism gift ideas goes a long way in easing the parents’ financial strain. To make it a more meaningful baptism gift, look at the bigger picture like starting a college fund for the baby. This way, you help secure the baby’s future as your baptism day gift.

Baptism gift ideas should be evaluated and chosen with keenness and consideration to match the day’s importance. So, the next time you walk into a store to buy a baptism gift, choose a gift that the child will look at and associate it with this special day.

5 Reasons You Need an Estate Plan

Contrary to popular belief, estate planning isn’t the preserve of the rich and famous. You don’t have to acquire significant wealth to plan how it will be shared among your beneficiaries once you’re gone. The process involves common assets such as land, houses, jewelry, cash, and investments.

What’s the Importance of Estate Planning?

The AARP reports that only 40% of American adults have a written will. Although older people take this obligation seriously, a majority of Gen Xers and Millennials don’t. You stand to gain the following benefits if you incorporate estate planning into your long-term financial strategy:

1). Reduced Estate Taxes

State inheritance and federal estate taxes can quickly pile up if you don’t hire an estate planner. The process helps you transfer assets to beneficiaries in the most tax-efficient way possible. If you’re married, you can set up an AB trust and enjoy double the federal estate tax exemption.

There are various other estate planning methods that both individuals and spouses can utilize. A living trust is one that you set up while still alive, while a testamentary trust follows the terms of your will.

If it’s a revocable living trust, you may amend its terms whenever you want. Except on rare occasions, once you create and fund an irrevocable trust, its terms are legally binding forever.

2). Protection for Your Beneficiaries

Proper estate planning protects two main types of beneficiaries. The first is minors whose interests are taken care of until they’re old enough to inherit your wealth formally. Every state has laws outlining the appointment of a conservator to manage their financial needs until they turn 18 or 21.

It’s also necessary to protect adult beneficiaries from making poor financial decisions. These could be a result of influence from reckless friends, manipulative spouses, and poor judgment. In such situations, you can specify the exact terms under which they’ll gain access to the inheritance.

3). A Smoother Transition

You probably know a family that’s in a vicious fight for control of a deceased member’s fortune. It’s not uncommon for some beneficiaries to think the distribution of wealth doesn’t favor them. This situation might lead to costly court battles and the disintegration of a family that was once united.

An estate plan determines the role of each beneficiary if you’re no longer able to mentally and physically handle your affairs. It also gives you ample time to make customized arrangements for each child. They include future medical and educational plans, as well as the needs of children from more than one spouse.

Instead of dividing wealth equally, you may do so depending on what you feel each child deserves.

4). Avoiding Probate

This process is one of the biggest reasons for conducting estate planning. Other than authenticating a deceased person’s will, probate calculates the value of their assets. It also settles any bills and taxes you might have accrued, then shares what remains among your beneficiaries.

Probate can turn into a long and messy procedure, so it’s advisable to avoid it altogether.

5). Family Wealth Protection

Because you’ve worked so hard for your wealth, you naturally want it to benefit your descendants for the longest time. Estate planning protects it by creating legal entities that are harder to challenge through malicious lawsuits and fraudulent schemes.

It allows you to teach your children the value of managing their future inheritance for the sake of their beneficiaries. It’s also a smart way of legacy planning. You can decide how you want the society to remember you by specifying the kind of philanthropic activities your trust will support long after you’re gone.

5 Reasons You Need an Estate Plan

Contrary to popular belief, estate planning isn’t the preserve of the rich and famous. You don’t have to acquire significant wealth to plan how it will be shared among your beneficiaries once you’re gone. The process involves common assets such as land, houses, jewelry, cash, and investments.

What’s the Importance of Estate Planning?

The AARP reports that only 40% of American adults have a written will. Although older people take this obligation seriously, a majority of Gen Xers and Millennials don’t. You stand to gain the following benefits if you incorporate estate planning into your long-term financial strategy:

1). Reduced Estate Taxes

State inheritance and federal estate taxes can quickly pile up if you don’t hire an estate planner. The process helps you transfer assets to beneficiaries in the most tax-efficient way possible. If you’re married, you can set up an AB trust and enjoy double the federal estate tax exemption.

There are various other estate planning methods that both individuals and spouses can utilize. A living trust is one that you set up while still alive, while a testamentary trust follows the terms of your will.

If it’s a revocable living trust, you may amend its terms whenever you want. Except on rare occasions, once you create and fund an irrevocable trust, its terms are legally binding forever.

2). Protection for Your Beneficiaries

Proper estate planning protects two main types of beneficiaries. The first is minors whose interests are taken care of until they’re old enough to inherit your wealth formally. Every state has laws outlining the appointment of a conservator to manage their financial needs until they turn 18 or 21.

It’s also necessary to protect adult beneficiaries from making poor financial decisions. These could be a result of influence from reckless friends, manipulative spouses, and poor judgment. In such situations, you can specify the exact terms under which they’ll gain access to the inheritance.

3). A Smoother Transition

You probably know a family that’s in a vicious fight for control of a deceased member’s fortune. It’s not uncommon for some beneficiaries to think the distribution of wealth doesn’t favor them. This situation might lead to costly court battles and the disintegration of a family that was once united.

An estate plan determines the role of each beneficiary if you’re no longer able to mentally and physically handle your affairs. It also gives you ample time to make customized arrangements for each child. They include future medical and educational plans, as well as the needs of children from more than one spouse. Instead of dividing wealth equally, you may do so depending on what you feel each child deserves.

4). Avoiding Probate

This process is one of the biggest reasons for conducting estate planning. Other than authenticating a deceased person’s will, probate calculates the value of their assets. It also settles any bills and taxes you might have accrued, then shares what remains among your beneficiaries. Probate can turn into a long and messy procedure, so it’s advisable to avoid it altogether.

5). Family Wealth Protection

Because you’ve worked so hard for your wealth, you naturally want it to benefit your descendants for the longest time. Estate planning protects it by creating legal entities that are harder to challenge through malicious lawsuits and fraudulent schemes.

It allows you to teach your children the value of managing their future inheritance for the sake of their beneficiaries. It’s also a smart way of legacy planning. You can decide how you want the society to remember you by specifying the kind of philanthropic activities your trust will support long after you’re gone.