Can I Leave Property To My Minor Children?
The short answer is yes, but, of course, with most legal questions, there are caveats and a longer explanation behind it. If you pass away and leave property to your minor children through a will without proper provisions in place, such property will be held in a guardianship and held by a court appointed guardian until your child reaches the age of 18. This means upon the child reaching 18, they will receive all and any of the property which you bequeathed to them. This may or may not be something that you would agree to if you were alive, which is why this needs to be carefully considered in creating your will.
A testamentary trust can be set up through your will. It allows property to be placed into a trust for your child upon your death, and managed by a Trustee appointed by you. The Trustee distributes according to the terms and conditions that you specifically state in your document, including how you wish your child to be taken care of in the event he or she is a minor when you pass.
This is a great tool to use to ensure your minor child has access to funds for health care, education, travel, general welfare, or anything else designated by you. It also allows funds to be distributed to your child all at once when they reach a certain age (not necessarily 18), or you can specify funds to be distributed in certain portions when they reach particular ages as you see appropriate.
The best way to make sure you are setting up your next generation for success, is to plan accordingly. We recommend speaking to a professional before making tough decisions like this for a child. You can always reach out to our estate planning lawyers at NC Planning for the right guidance.