Probate attorneys at Nirenstein, Horowitz & Associates can guide families through the probate process to help ensure that assets are able to transfer as quickly as possible to new owners after a death. The probate process can always be complicated and expensive, but it can become even more so when money has been left to someone who is not able to inherit directly — like a minor.
If you wish to leave money to a minor and you want to avoid complications during probate and control the inheritance that you plan to leave to your young loved one, you should work with Nirenstein, Horowitz & Associates to make a comprehensive estate plan that takes the needs of your heirs or beneficiaries into account.
If your loved one has passed away and left money to someone who is underaged, our legal team can also help you through the probate process. Give us a call to find out more about the ways in which probate attorneys can help you, both when money has been left to a minor and in all other circumstances where you need assistance with the process of winding up a loved one’s affairs after a dearth.
What Happens When Money is Left to Someone Underaged?
If you have left money to a minor, that young person will not be able to directly inherit the assets if you pass away before he or she has reached the age of 18. Unless you have made appropriate plans such as making use of the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act or placing the money in trust for the minor, complications will arise during the probate process when your underaged loved one is not able to directly inherit.
Generally, the probate court will end up having to appoint a guardian for the money you have left to underaged heirs or beneficiaries. This guardian could be a different person than you would have preferred to be in control of the money you left for the child. The guardian will need to comply with requirements of the court and keep an accounting, which can be burdensome for those placed in charge of managing money for minors. While the guardian will have a fiduciary duty to act in the minor’s best interests, it is still possible the person the court selects may not have the talent or ability to effectively manage the money.
There is also another problem associated with leaving money directly to a minor. Unless you have made appropriate plans to prevent it, the money could be transferred directly to the underaged child upon his or her 18th birthday. This could mean a huge sum of money simply goes right to a young person without any strings attached or without any conditions upon what will actually happen to the money. Your young heirs or beneficiaries could blow through their inheritance before they are old enough to manage the money responsibly, which is definitely not what you want when you have tried to provide a legacy to your loved ones.
You can avoid all of these undesirable consequences by using the right legal tools to leave money to minors in an appropriate way. There are different techniques that you can use which probate attorneys at Nirenstein, Horowitz & Associates can help you to explore. One of the most common options is the creation of a trust that allows you to name a person who you have confidence in to manage the money for the child until a time that you designate. When you make a trust, you have much more control as you can provide specific instructions in the trust document regarding when and how the child will inherit and what the funds will be used for.
Getting Help from Probate Attorneys
Nirenstein, Horowitz & Associates will help you with the estate planning process so you can avoid an undesirable outcome when you leave money to a minor, such as the wrong person being appointed as guardian or the child inheriting when he is too young to manage the inheritance wisely. We can also assist you with taking smart steps during the probate process to ensure the wishes of the deceased are respected and assets are transferred as quickly as possible to heirs or beneficiaries who were selected by the deceased.
To find out more about how our probate attorneys can assist you and your family, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at 860-548-1000 or contact us online to speak with a compassionate and knowledgeable attorney who will help with your personalized situation. Give us a call now to find out more about how we can assist you.