Why a Trust is Important When You Have Minors
Written by webtechs

Why a Trust is Important When You Have Minors

When the beneficiaries of your living trust (alternates and any residuary beneficiaries) may inherit trust property prior to them ready to manage it without assistance from an adult, you should arrange for an individual to manage it for them until they are able to themselves. There are a couple ways to accomplish this:

  • Leave your property to an adult for the child to use. A lot of individuals won’t leave property straight to a child. Rather, it is left to the child’s other parent or to the individuals they expect to have care and custody of the child when the parents aren’t available. There isn’t a formal legal arrangement, but they trust their chosen adult to utilize the property for the benefit of the child.
  • Appoint a custodian using the law known as the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA). In just about every state, you can appoint a custodian for the management of the property you leave to the child until the child turns eight teen or twenty-one, subject to state law (up to twenty-five in some). When you aren’t going to need management to last longer than that age, a custodianship is suggested.
  • Devise a child’s sub-trust. You can set up a child’s sub-trust inside your living trust. When you do, your successor trustee is going to manage the property you left to your child and dispense it for schooling, healthcare and other needs. The sub-trust will end at whatever age you stipulate (up to thirty-five), and any leftover property is surrendered outright to the child.

WARNING: Children that have special needs. These property management alternatives were not designed to offer long-term property management for individuals that have serious disabilities and also not for an individual that gets government disability benefits.

Should You Arrange for Management?

It’s up to you if you want make arrangements in your trust document to have an individual manage trust property when it gets inherited by younger beneficiaries.

The repercussions of renouncing management for trust property inherited by a younger beneficiary are subject to if the beneficiary is over or under age eight teen at your passing.

Children Under Eight Teen Years of Age

When your minor beneficiaries (minors under eight teen years of age) aren’t going to inherit anything of great worth — when you’re leaving them belongings with more sentimental than monetary value — you won’t be required to arrange for an adult for the management of the property.

However, when your beneficiaries inherit valuable trust property when still being a minor, and you haven’t provided arrangements for the management of your property by an adult individual, a court-designated guardian might have to manage your property.

Contrary to what many believe, a child’s parent doesn’t automatically have legal authorization to manage property that the child inherits. So even when one or both of the beneficiary’s parents are still living, they might have to petition the court to award them that authority and is going to be subject to the supervision of the court. When neither of the parent are alive, there could be no clear-cut individual for the court to designate as property guardian. In these situations, it could be even more vital for you to designate an individual in your living trust.

There is one other option: In many states, successor trustees may designate a custodian for property being inherited by a minor. When the value of property surpasses a certain amount – ten thousand dollars in many states — a court is required to approve of the designation. And the custodianship is required to end at eight-teen in many states, sooner than a lot of parents would like. So, it’s better to designate a custodian on your own.

Young Adults Eight teen to Thirty-Five Years of Age

When an individual is eight teen or older inherits trust property, you aren’t required to, legally, to have someone manage the property on the behalf beneficiary. And when you do not make some type of arrangement, the beneficiary is going to receive the property without obligation. However, you can make arrangements for property management to endure until your beneficiary reaching any age up to thirty-five.

There isn’t legal requirement for management of a trust beneficiary’s property needs to end at thirty-five, but thirty-five is a reasonable end. When you do not want to give a beneficiary carte blanche over trust property when they reach thirty-five, you possibly need to consult a lawyer and devise a plan to the beneficiary’s requirements.

Which Is Better: Sub-trust or Custodianship?

You are able to create either sub-trust or custodianships using the UTMA. Each of them is safe, effective ways to manage trust property that a young individual inherits. Using either method, the individual in charge of the young beneficiary’s property is going to have the same responsibility to utilize the property for the beneficiary’s assistance, schooling and healthcare.

The most considerable difference is that a child’s sub-trust could last longer than custodianships, that are required to end at age eight teen to twenty-one in a lot of states (up to twenty five in a couple). For that reasoning, a child’s sub-trust is a proper choice when a child may inherit a greater amount of property.

Since an UTMA custodianship are much easier to deal with, it is typically preferred if the beneficiary going to inherit no more than around fifty thousand dollars’ worth of trust property (one hundred thousand dollars or more when the child is pretty young). That amount is potentially to exhausted for living and educational expenses by the time the beneficiary reaches age twenty-one, so there’s no requirement to devise a sub-trust that may continue beyond that age.

A custodianship has other benefits also:

  • Managing a beneficiary’s property is smoother with a custodianship instead of a trust. A custodian’s authority gets written into state law, and a lot of institutions, like banks and insurance companies, are knowledgeable about the rules. Trusts, however, differ in their conditions. So, prior to a bank letting a trustee act on a beneficiary behalf, it might request to see and examine a copy of the Declaration of Trust.
  • You may designate whoever you desire to be a custodian, and you can designate separate custodians for separate beneficiaries. So, when you are wanting to arrange a custodianship for grandchildren, for instance, you might name each of the child’s parent as a custodian. A sub-trust for a child is not quite so adaptable: The successor trustee is going to be the trustee of all children’s sub-trust devised for your younger beneficiaries.
  • When the property in a sub-trust turns a profit, and that income isn’t allocated faster to the beneficiary, the trust is going to have to pay a tax on it. The federal tax rate on similar acquired income might be higher than it would if a young beneficiary were to be taxed on it. The trustee might be required to hire professionals for assistance with trust accounts and tax returns.


  1. Nolo. (2018, July 31). Property management for young beneficiaries. Retrieved April 09, 2021, from https://www.nolo.com/technical-support-main/nolo-living-trust-property-management-for-young-beneficiaries.html

Arizona Family Law

There’s nothing better than the peace of mind you will have knowing you’ve protected your family at a time when they need it most. Let us help. Schedule a consultation or contact Ogborne Law, PLC of Arizona today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *