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Naming a minor as a beneficiary

One of the main reasons you may want an estate plan is to provide for your loved ones after you pass away. After all, you worked hard to set money aside for them, and you want the assets from your estate to enhance the lives of your family and close friends.

Suppose some of the people you want to include as beneficiaries are minors. In that case, there could be issues if you die before they are considered adults according to the law. It is essential to consider what contingencies should be in place if you name a minor child as a beneficiary.

Here’s what you can do to support your estate plan and any minor beneficiaries.

What happens for the minor beneficiary?

In Florida, a beneficiary must be at least 18 to take legal control of the assets from your estate. If there is nothing included in your estate plan naming a guardian, the probate court will typically appoint a guardian to help the minor beneficiary manage the assets.

In many cases, the guardian can be an “interested adult” such as a parent or grandparent. The guardian would then help the minor establish an account for any monies they inherited. If there are no interested adults who can take on this responsibility, the court will need to appoint someone.

What can I do?

Thankfully, this is a simple problem to solve. As you establish your beneficiaries, you should appoint a guardian for any minors. The guardian or trustee would then assist the minor with their inherited assets until they reach adulthood.

Depending on the size of your estate, you may want to consider establishing a trust for any beneficiaries who may not have the maturity to manage a large sum of money. While they may be adults in a legal sense, they may not have the foresight to manage the money wisely.

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