What if Money is Left to a Minor?
Probate attorneys will provide representation during the probate process. The probate process is a process by which assets are supposed to be transferred to new owners and the affairs of the deceased person are resolved. In some cases, however, assets cannot just be given to the people who they have been left to. This can happen, for example, if the person who was gifted assets in a last will and testament is a minor who isn’t legally able to assume control of an inheritance and begin managing money.
Zimmer Law Firm can provide assistance in preparing to leave money to a minor so the person who has made this gift can take control over what happens to the funds until the child is ready to receive them. We can also help during the probate process when money has been left to someone who is underaged.
We can explain the implications of an inheritance to a child and can help the executor of an estate or heirs or beneficiaries to be prepared for what will occur when a child inherits funds. Give us a call today to talk with probate attorneys who can provide help in this situation and when other questions arise during the probate process.
What Happens When a Child Inherits?
The implications of leaving an inheritance to a child under 18 will vary depending upon how the money is left to the child. If the deceased created a trust and transferred assets into it for the child’s benefit, then the process of managing a child’s inheritance becomes much easier.
The designated trustee who was chosen by the trust creator will simply manage the assets in accordance with the wishes of the trust creator and the instructions in the trust document. The creator of the trust may have specified the money must be used for a particular purpose, or may have indicated it should simply be monitored and given to the child once the child reaches a certain age or fulfills certain milestones, such as graduating from college. If you wish to create a trust in order to leave money to a child, our legal team is here to help you.
In some cases, a person who wishes to leave money to a child will take advantage of provisions under the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act, which makes it possible for the person giving the financial gift to appoint a custodian for the money. The custodian can manage the assets until the child is of age, and no guardian or trustee has to be appointed. Zimmer Law Firm can offer assistance to those who wish to use the UTMA to quickly and effectively provide an inheritance to an underaged child.
If no advanced steps are taken regarding a child’s inheritance, however, then the situation becomes a bit more complicated. Since the child can’t just receive money and the person who made the financial gift to the child hasn’t designated a person to be in charge of the assets given to the child, the court will generally need to appoint a guardian. The guardian will be in charge of taking care of the assets until the child becomes an adult.
When the court appoints a guardian, the person chosen as guardian may not be the individual that the deceased who made the financial gift would have preferred to be the person put in charge of managing a child’s inheritance. The guardian may also be required to comply with court obligations and to submit to monitoring of their management of the assets that are being held for the child, which can be a burdensome intrusion of privacy in many circumstances.
Directly leaving money to a minor via a last will and testament, or a minor inheriting under intestacy law, are not ideal situations. It is far better if appropriate plans are made whenever a gift is going to be given to a minor so the money can be managed and transferred appropriately in accordance with the wishes of the person who made the gift to the child.
Getting Help from Probate Attorneys
Probate attorneys at Zimmer Law Firm are here to help when the probate process is going on and assets are being transferred to their new owners. We can represent the executor of an estate, as well as heirs or beneficiaries, and we can help both in circumstances where children will inherit as well as in circumstances when all beneficiaries are adults. Join us for a free seminar or give us a call at 513.721.1513 today to find out more about the assistance we can offer.