Estate Planning – Leaving an Inheritance to a Younger Person

Hi I’m Wes Coulson and this is your Estate Planning Minute. If you’re leaving an inheritance to a younger person, either as a matter of choice or maybe because of someone dying out of generational order, there are some special considerations you need to be aware of.  First, someone who has not yet reached age 18 can’t legally inherit directly. You can set aside money for them in a trust, or if you haven’t done that, their inheritance is going to be administered through a guardianship that’s going to have to be set up for a considerable expense. Moreover, you get to choose, in your estate plan, the age at which a younger person will take control over their inheritance. If you don’t say it’s going to be age 18, (most of my clients don’t trust 18-year-olds with unfettered control of money) and when you choose that age, know that you’re not keeping the money for them, you’re just deciding whether decisions on how it’s spent should be made by the younger person or by an older, wiser trustee until they reach a certain age. Thanks!