As parents you have probably created Wills that provide for the care of your minor children. Part of that provision should have been appointing a guardian who will provide a home for the child if both parents die while the child is still a minor (under age 18). Many people are unaware that a minor child cannot inherit financial assets outright. Any financial assets bequeathed directly to a minor child will be held by a court-appointed guardian of the child’s estate. [Read more…]
Estate planning for parents of minor children
Estate planning is not just for the wealthy, and it is not just for the elderly. Parents of young children need to plan for the care of their children if both parents should pass away while the children are still minors.
1- Planning for the financial care of your minor children.
Without a Will: If a parent dies without a Will, state law provides for a portion of the parent’s property to pass to their surviving children at the parent’s death. If property is inherited outright by minor children, a judge would appoint a responsible person, the Guardian of the estate, to care for the inherited property. A court-supervised guardianship can be expensive and burdensome and requires annual reports to the court of all expenditures. Another downside: the assets in the guardianship become the property of the minor when the child reaches age 18. [Read more…]
Property titles and beneficiary designations are an important part of an estate plan. Make sure they are current and coordinated with your planning documents. As part of the estate planning process, I ask clients for a list of their assets and how those assets are titled. The title to assets can determine who gets the property when the owner dies. Property that is owned by two or more people with joint rights of survivorship or by husband and wife will pass automatically at the death of one owner to the surviving owner. When real property is held by two or more people as tenants in common, each is considered to own a separate share of the property and to be able to dispose of that share in his or her Will. [Read more…]