Arrangements Available for Appointing an Adult to Manage Money and Property Given Directly to Young Children
To safely and responsibly leave significant sums of money and valuable property to minor children and young adults (your's or anyone else's), three different methods are commonly used: Custodianships , Child's Trusts and Children's Pot Trusts. Although all three methods can be used in either a Will or a Living Trust , they're discussed below only in the context of a Will for simplicity.
Child's Trusts A Child's Trust is formed by including a provision in your Will directing that any property left to a person who at the time of your death is younger than the age chosen by you in your Will (between 18 and 30) be held in a separate Child's Trust for each such child. In your Will, you'll also choose a trusted adult to serve as the children's Trustee .
Children's Pot Trusts A Children's Pot Trust is formed by including a provision in your Will directing that any property left to your own children be held in a single Children's Pot Trust to serve all of your children collectively until your youngest child reaches the age chosen by you in your Will (between 18 and 25). In your Will, you'll also choose a trusted adult to serve as the Trustee of the Children's Pot Trust.
Our EZ-Questionnaires allow you to select from any of the above three methods if you decide to leave money or property directly to your children (as either primary beneficiaries or alternative beneficiaries). You may not, however, mix and match methods. That is, you must select the same property management method for all of your young beneficiaries. The only exception to this rule is if you choose to use a Children's Pot Trust for gifts left to your own children, but you're also leaving a gift to one or more young children who are not your children. In this situation, you would have to choose either a Custodianship or a Child's Trust for the gifts left to someone else's children because (under Wills prepared by The Weber Law Firm ) a Child's Pot Trust can be used only for gifts made to your own children.
Custodianships A Custodianship is formed by including a provision in your Will directing that any property left to a person who at the time of your death is younger than age 21 be held in a separate Custodianship for each such child in accordance with West Virginia's Uniform Transfers to Minors Act . In your Will, you'll also choose a trusted adult to serve as the children's Custodian .
To learn how each of the listed adult property management methods actually work, and for information about their relative advantages and disadvantages, click on the appropriate link below: