If you leave money or assets to a child under the age of 18 in a will but have not named a guardian for the property, the court will appoint one. The court will then provide strict oversight of the guardian to make sure that the inheritance is used for the best interests of the child/beneficiary. The guardian will manage the assets until the child turns 18, and then the child will receive the remainder of the inheritance. This result is often not desired by parents and grandparents since children who are 18 are not quite responsible at money management.
A Better Option for Leaving Your Child an Inheritance
Set up a trust for your child. You may choose to be the trustee while you’re alive, but you also need to select a successor trustee, usually a trusted relative or friend. Then you fund the trust by transferring assets into it.
Once you pass away, the successor trustee will handle the property your child inherits from the trust until your child reaches an age you specify. The successor trustee must act in your child’s best interest and follow any written instructions you provided in the trust. Typically, the trustee spends money on important items for the child like education, health, and living expenses. Once the child reaches the age you specify, the trust ends and the remaining contents of the trust are given to the beneficiary. The trust can also instruct that the remaining assets be distributed to the beneficiary in lumps like a third at age 25, a third at age 35, and a third at age 40.
We can help make sure that your inheritance is distributed to your children just the way you want. Call us today at 617.299.6976 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a confidential, no-cost consultation.