Estate Planning Needs of Couples with Minor Children

Even parents without significant assets should have wills.
  • Your will allows you to name guardians and alternate guardians for your minor children.
  • The guardian takes care of the child and manages any inheritance left for the child until the child turns 18.
  • You may also separate the roles of taking care of the child and taking care of the child's inheritance by naming two different individuals to the two separate roles.
  • In Massachusetts, if the children are fourteen years of age or older, they will have the right to object to the choice of a guardian, but keeping your planning up to date will likely avoid any unnecessary conflict.
  • You can also name a legal Custodian of gifts to the child, and you can direct that gifts to such Custodian be held until the child turns 21 years of age.
  • A couple with older children might wish to provide for guidance and control through a trust for assets passing to benefit children who have not yet matured, maintaining property in trust until certain milestones such as graduation from college or receiving an advanced degree, marriage, or attaining a certain age. Trust property can also be distributed in portions.
  • Couples with taxable estates can use revocable trusts to preserve their estates for children or other noncharitable beneficiaries after the death of the surviving spouse. This planning must be done before the death of the first spouse.
  • Trusts can also specify uses for the trust assets, such as education, care for children until all have attained a certain age, or for other purposes.

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    For More Information:
    Law Offices of Jameson & Cooper
    8 Grove Street, Suite 205
    Wellesley, Massachusetts 02482
    Tel.: (781) 237-7766