Protecting estate assets for the future benefit of loved ones is the primary goal of estate planning.
Parents can determine how their property will be divided and distributed among family members and others. But you may need to consider estate planning strategies when providing for minor children.
Knowing how to create a sound estate plan when you have children under the age of 18 ensures that you meet their needs while maximizing the value of the assets they receive.
Leaving Assets to Minor Children
Leaving assets to your children is one of the most common reasons for estate planning. When distributed appropriately, these assets can create a secure financial future and help minors meet their personal, educational, and healthcare needs.
Minors aren’t able to receive their inheritance until they reach the age of 18. But parents can still use estate planning vehicles such as a revocable living trust to offer support to their children.
This is especially important in cases where a parent dies while the child is still a minor. With a revocable trust, your child obtains the financial support they need from your estate.
Revocable trusts can be terminated or modified at any time while you’re alive, giving you greater flexibility and control over your assets. It becomes irrevocable at the time of death or incapacitation, and control of your estate is transferred to a successor trustee.
The assets in a trust are also protected from the probate process, which is often costly and time-consuming. Creating a trust for children under the age of 18 allows them to receive their benefits without any delays.
Estate planning allows you to establish a guardian for minor children. A guardian can provide the care that children need when a parent becomes incapacitated or dies.
You can use a will to appoint a guardian, but cases in which a will doesn’t exist or a guardian hasn’t been named will force the courts to appoint a guardian.
This can often lead to unwanted legal issues when family members don’t approve of the guardian appointed by the courts.
Parents should name a trustee to manage the assets left to their minor children. Children are unable to gain full access to their inheritance. So a trustee or conservator can protect any property or assets left to children until they reach adulthood.
Estate Planning Protects the Future of Minor Children
Understanding the legal strategies you can use to protect minor children and make sure that they receive the assets you leave behind is the first step in creating the right estate plan.
The legal resources you have will impact your long-term estate planning goals while preventing many of the common issues that family members can face.
Working with an estate planning attorney helps you navigate the complexities related to leaving assets behind to minors.
With the right estate planning vehicles, you minimize unwanted costs and prevent the delays that get in the way of providing for your loved ones.
Your estate plan protects your financial interests and allows you to leave a legacy behind that gives your family the financial security they need for the future.