Leaving an Inheritance for Your Children in New York

Thursday, November 10th, 2016, 2:25 am

Creating an estate plan can be difficult. While we never like to think about leaving our children behind too early, accidents can happen and we want to ensure our children are well taken care of if they do.

For individuals with children under the age of 18, a proper estate plan usually includes more than just naming who should care for your children if you pass. If you have money or property that you would like your children to have, you may also need to consider what kind of power they will have while still underage.

Appointing a Property Manager in Your Estate Plan

If your children are still minors, you are still able to leave your estate to them. However, if they are legally unable to make decisions for themselves, they will need a property manager to control the estate until the children are old enough to make these choices on their own.

Although the court will appoint a property manager if you don’t, this can cause complications for all individuals involved. If the court needs to select the property manager, they will usually need to check in more often and their choices may be more closely controlled.

To make the situation easier, you should account for this when creating your will.

Property Manager Options for Your Will

There are multiple ways to name a property manager in your will. The easiest is to simply name a property guardian who will control your child’s inheritance if you should pass before they are of legal age to control it on their own.

Your second option is the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act, or UTMA. With UTMA, you name a “custodian” to take care of property that is left in the hands of an individual under a certain age, usually 21. Under UTMA, the age is determined by the state.

If you would like to control which age your child receives the inheritance, you can do so by establishing a trust. To create one trust for all of your children, you would create a “pot trust,” which gives the trustee the power to determine how much of the money goes to each child.

To further discuss your options and to determine the right choice for you and your family, talk to a Brooklyn estate planning attorney. The legal experts at Michael F. Kanzer and Associates can help you create a will that protects you, your family, and your assets once you pass.

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