Do you really want to leave an Eighteen year old child a large sum of money with no restrictions to protect that money for their future?
Florida law states that you cannot leave a minor child more than Fifteen Thousand Dollard ($15,000.00) without setting up a guardianship through the Court system. However, with proper estate planning there are ways to avoid this from happening. In addition to the expense and Court involvement with a guardianship, a major pitfall is that a child will receive any remaining funds not used for the child’s care when that child turns 18. Most parents do not want to give an eighteen year old a large sum of money with the risk of wasting that money on frivolous purchases within a short period of time.
Without proper planning on the part of the parents there is no way to prevent this from happening. That is where your estate planning attorney can help you. A trust can be set up for the management of your child’s money should something happen to you. Many times parents leave all of their assets to the surviving parent. But what happens when both parents die? A will can be drawn up to establish a trust to protect your child’s money. Distributions can be made from the trust for the health, education, maintenance and support of the children. You, as the parent, can make the decision as to when would want the balance of the money in the trust distributed. Within the trust you will need to name a trustee who is the person who will distribute money from the trust to your child until its termination. As we discussed above, make sure the trustee is someone who you think will properly care for your child’s money and who you believe will make responsible distributions of the funds.