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Property Management for Minor Children

While no one thinks that they will die prematurely and leave their children behind, it’s better to be prepared than not. It’s important to designate someone to care for and raise your children. It’s also important to ensure that any inheritance left to them will be properly managed. Specific instructions for your children’s inheritance can be included in your living trust or will to avoid probate.

Generally speaking, most parents won’t leave property or money to their children directly. It’s common to leave all possessions and belongings to the other parent so that they can properly take care of the children. Single parents, however, may not have another relative to leave their assets to while their children become of age. In these instances, you can appoint someone to manage their inheritance until they are old enough to manage it themselves. This is considered a form of property management.

How to Set Up Property Management

Thankfully, you can easily avoid court-appointed guardianship by choosing someone yourself. This should be someone that you trust to manage the inheritance wisely and act in the best interests of your children. While there are many ways this can be set up, some of the most common and beneficial include:

  • Create a trust for each child individually. This option involves you using your living trust or will to designate a trustee who will then be responsible for handling any property or money that the children inherit. You can specify the age at which you want your children to receive the inheritance. That way, if your child is already over that age at the time of your death, the assets go straight to them without the trust coming into being or having to go through probate. 
  • Use your will to designate a guardian. A simple way to name a guardian is to do so in your will. This option allows that person to begin managing the assets immediately upon your death for your children. It doesn’t require any additional trusts to be set up and is fairly straightforward. 
  • Create one trust for all of your children. This type of trust is also known as a family or pot trust. This involves appointing a trustee (in your will or trust) who will be responsible for dispersing the trust according to the needs of the children. This will be based on their discretion. These trusts usually end when the youngest child reaches a certain age – either 18 or 21. Unfortunately, these trusts end up leaving older children waiting to receive their inheritance until the youngest child becomes of age. 

If you have any questions regarding how to take care of your loved ones following your passing, contact an experienced will lawyer in Sacramento to discuss your options.

Thanks to Yee Law Group for their insight into estate planning and property management for minor children.

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