It depends. It depends on your goals going into estate planning. The who, why and what. (Questions your attorney should be asking you before you plan…) In this instance: Who are you protecting? Your young kids. What are you protecting? Monies you want your children to use for education (college, graduate school, etc.)
A trust protects the money you wish to leave your children.
In ALL states, like Georgia, there is an age where a child can not only inherit but also 100% manage and control the monies they inherit. In Georgia, it is 18 years old.
Under in 18 years old, they can inherit the monies, but they cannot manage it for their own benefit. Someone else will do this for them.
But then at 18, your child will get ALL the money. And you cannot tell them how to spend it, or not spend it.
How Would An 18-Year Old Spend an Inheritance?
Most parents I speak with are quite shocked at the idea of their 18-year-old child being in control of the things, property, and money. Most parents wonder whether their child would go to college as they hoped. Most parents wonder what any amount of money, inherited at age 18, would do to the value system of their young adult child. Most parents wonder who their kids would associate with after their child inherits money at 18. Most parents think “would my kid buy a $60,000.00 luxury vehicle or a $35,000.00 dependable vehicle” to get them to college. Most parents wonder if their child would even go to college!
How a Will & Trust Based Estate Plan Differ
This is what it looks like without an estate plan or with an estate plan involving only a Last Will & Testament. This is one of the ways a Will functions. It will give your young children (under 18) the monies you have, but then at 18 years old … it is your young adult child’s money without any controls.
A trust-based estate plan is different. It allows you, as the parent, to preserve monies for the benefit of your young adult beyond 18 years old. Perhaps you, as a parent, see age 25 years old as a more mature age. Perhaps you believe age 30 year is better. In the meantime, between 18 and 25 (or 30), your child can use the money for education. Or anything else you feel is important for their maturity.
Bottom line: a trust can protect monies (the what) for your young children (the who) not just while they are under 18 years old and into their twenties.
Contact Us For Help In Crafting the Best Estate Plan for You!
If you have young children or young adult children and are worried about your child being in control of monies they would inherit from you when they turn 18 years old, call us and come in for a free consultation to talk about whether a trust is appropriate. You can also fill out our contact form below: