A trust for minors is typically established as a strategy to protect assets and distribute property to children without allowing them immediate access to their inheritance. Typically, minor trusts come with instructions that specify when the funds, estate, or other assets may be released to the minor. Trusts for minors are a great approach to guarantee your children’s long-term security and financial future after your passing.
Establishing a trust for a minor serves a number of purposes:
- Proactively plans for the distribution of finances.
- Sets up a timeline as to when the beneficiaries will receive the funds.
- Defines how the funds should be allocated.
- Addresses the plan of action should the minor pass away.
You have flexibility and choices when creating a trust for a minor. You are free to decide between a living trust and a will. Each brings unique capabilities. You can designate a minor as the beneficiary of money or assets you leave behind, but a provision addressing the minor’s age is required.
If the child is a minor at the time of your passing, the property designated to the minor’s trust will be managed by an adult trustee who will administer the funds on the minor’s behalf. You can choose a trustee or the court will assign one.
You can determine the age that the trust funds become available to the minor for use. For instance, you may feel that a young person lacks the maturity to make good financial decisions. Simply specify the age, and the authority remains with a trustee until the young person reaches the appropriate age.
A trust fund for a minor can be set up to disperse the money in installments rather than having a flat payment. This can be done as a safeguard to make sure that all of the money isn’t spent right away and it may have tax benefits.
You can restrict the trust funds to housing, educational, and medical costs. You can choose to include a secondary beneficiary; maybe a grandchild. You can choose to exclude a person’s access to the inheritance.
You can choose to assign a permanent trustee. Maybe the recipient has a mental or health condition that prohibits the ability to administer the funds on their own. Maybe you are caring for a minor that has special needs that will require medical care throughout life.
As you can see, a Minor Trust offers tremendous flexibility and the structure will impact the lives of the people that you leave behind, and your legacy.
The laws are complex. If you need help creating a Minor Trust or want to discuss your options, contact attorney Chuck Bendig for a consultation.