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Estate News --- Observations of a Trust and Probate Attorney

Thursday, December 15, 2016

How to Handle Underage Beneficiaries

Ontario Wills and Trusts Lawyer: How to Handle Underage Beneficiaries

Many grandparents wish to leave a legacy behind for their grandchildren; however, they may run into some issues if those children are underage. An Ontario Wills and Trusts attorney can help you determine what the best options are for leaving assets to underage beneficiaries, whether those assets are held in a Will or Trust, financial accounts, or as part of a life insurance benefit.

Underage Beneficiaries in a Will or Trust

Ontario Wills and Trusts lawyers will always ask their clients if any of their beneficiaries are underage or even if they would like to keep younger beneficiaries from accessing their full inheritance until they’ve reached a certain age, which is usually 25. If the children are underage, an adult property guardian must be named since minors are not allowed to own property. If a significant amount of property is left to the minor, a Trust should be set up to manage the property until the child comes of age. In fact, Trusts can be used to ensure the minor only receives their full inheritance once they reach a certain age or milestone, such as graduating from college, while at the same time providing assets to make sure the child can achieve that milestone. An Ontario Wills and Trusts lawyer can speak with you about leaving an inheritance to an underage child and will help you choose the best option for administering the distributions.  

Underage Beneficiaries of Financial Accounts

Many people choose to make beneficiary designations directly on their financial accounts, such as savings accounts, annuities, and retirement plans. Ontario Wills and Trusts attorneys urge their clients to carefully examine the details surrounding these beneficiary designations as minor beneficiaries often cannot directly access inherited assets after your passing. It is important to consult with an Ontario Wills and Trusts lawyer to determine the best way for your underage beneficiaries to receive the inheritance you leave for them at the time when they can make informed financial decisions on their own. Directing the assets to a Trust is often the best bet in these situations, but consulting with an attorney will give you a much better idea of how this should be done.

Underage Beneficiaries on Life Insurance

Many parents and grandparents name their children or grandchildren as beneficiaries on their life insurance policies. As with the cases above though, an adult guardian or a Trust must be named in order to hold the life insurance proceeds until the minors come of age. It is generally not advised to name minors as beneficiaries to life insurance policies because courts will often appoint an adult to look after the proceeds until the child comes of age – and that adult may not be someone you would have wanted appointed to such a role. Speaking with an Ontario Wills and Trusts lawyer may help you determine the best way to handle your life insurance beneficiary designations.

If you have any questions about the best ways to leave an inheritance to underage beneficiaries, please contact us at 989-985-5522 or bha@bristolhaynes.com  to set up your strategy session.


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Brock, Robinson & Associates assists clients with Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts, Special Needs Planning, Pet Trusts, Probate & Estate Administration, and Family Business Preservation in Chino, California as well as Chino Hills, Inland Empire, Pomona, Rancho Cucamonga, Ontario, Montclair, Diamond Bar, West Covina, Covina, Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Claremont Fontana, Riverside, Colton, Corona, San Bernardino, Redlands, Orange, Brea, Yorba Linda, Fullerton, Hacienda Heights, Eastvale, Norco, Mira Loma, Alta Loma, Upland, Rialto, Highland, Loma Linda and Grand Terrace in San Bernardino County, Los Angeles County and Orange County.



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