Planning for Minor ChildrenEvery parent wants to make sure their children are provided for in the event something happens to them while the children are still minors. Other relatives such as grandparents, aunts, and uncles often want to leave assets to young children, too. Unfortunately good intentions coupled with poor planning often have unintended results. Many parents think if they name a guardian for their children in their wills and something happens to them, the named person will automatically be able to use the inheritance to take care of the children. But that's not what happens. When the will is probated, the court will appoint a guardian to raise the child; usually this is the person named by the parents. But the court, not the guardian, will control the inheritance until the child reaches legal age. At that time, the child will receive the entire inheritance. Most parents would prefer that their children inherit at a later age, but with a simple will, you have no choice; once the child reaches the age of majority, the court must distribute the entire inheritance in one lump sum.
At Dean Jones LLP we offer various plans that afford the minor children the best care possible. Many of our clients prefer a revocable living trust to protect their minor children’s interests. The person(s) you select, not the court, will be able to manage the inheritance for your minor children or grandchildren until they reach the age(s) you want them to inherit. Each child's needs and circumstances can be accommodated, just as you would do. And assets that remain in the trust are protected from the courts, irresponsible spending and creditors.
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