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How should Grandma invest her legacy?

October 16, 2012: 6:30 AM ET

My mom wants to invest $60,000 for her grandkids, ages 4 to 11, to get at age 25. How should she do it? — Jill

Her simplest investment option is to put the $60,000 in a low-cost balanced fund (such as one from the MONEY 70). Then she should insert a bequest in her will identifying the grandkids as equal beneficiaries of the fund, says New York estate-planning attorney Lynne Stebbins. Specify that if the kids are under 25 when she dies, the money should be held in a testamentary trust until they reach that age. The cost of getting an estate-planning attorney to do this: $500 to $1,000.

A cheaper setup, if your mom is willing to let the kids have the money sooner, is for her to open an UTMA (Uniform Transfer to Minors Act) account for each; they'll get the money at age 18 (in 10 states) or 21.

— Lauren Gensler

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