Living Trusts Are the Way to Go for Estate Plans Benefitting Minors

Like many parents creating an estate plan in Anaheim, you may have young beneficiaries who are not old enough to receive your property if you were to pass away. In these cases, take extra care when preparing your estate plan. Failing to address this concern could result in costly delays to the estate administration process after you have passed away.

Generally, parents of minor children have the following options for how their property will be handled if they pass away, leaving behind young beneficiaries:

  • If the distribution to the minor is less than $5,000, allow the inheritance to be delivered to the parents of the child. The parents must promise to use the proceeds for the child’s benefit.
  • Allow or direct the executor to request the court authorize that the inheritance be placed in a blocked account, rather than requiring the appointment of a formal guardian.
  • Allow or direct the executor to request that the court authorize the executor to purchase a single-premium deferred annuity for the child, rather than requiring the appointment of a formal guardian.
  • Require that a court-supervised guardian be appointed over the child’s estate to handle the inheritance.
  • Direct that a custodial account be established for the minor under California’s Uniform Transform to Minor’s Act.
  • Create an Anaheim living trust for the child’s benefit. 

In many cases, incorporating a living trust into your estate plan for the minor child’s benefit provides the most flexible option for handling estate assets when the beneficiaries are under 18. Living trusts for minors generally avoid the need for court involvement. They also allow the creator of the trust to express guidelines and wishes for how and when the minor should receive trust assets.

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James F. Roberts
Founder and owner of the Law Office of James F. Roberts and Associates, a premiere estate planning law firm