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California Probate, Will & Trust Lawyer > Blog > Probate > Can A Minor Child Be A Trust Beneficiary In The State Of California?

Can A Minor Child Be A Trust Beneficiary In The State Of California?


If you are a Californian and in the process of estate planning, one of the questions you might be asking yourself is whether your minor child can be a Trust beneficiary in the state of California. Asking yourself this question is completely understandable, considering minor children generally cannot directly own money and some other types of assets in their names.

So, can a minor child be a Trust beneficiary in the state of California? Simply put, even though minor children cannot own money and other assets in their names, minors can be Trust beneficiaries in California. However, it is crucial for you to note that Trust shares for minor children are usually held in the Trust until the beneficiary becomes an adult. Often, younger beneficiaries do not receive their Trust share at once but in increments. This is because younger beneficiaries do not always make the best choices when it comes to handling money and/or assets.

Since minor children can be Trust beneficiaries, many parents choose to create Trusts for their children while they are still minors. If you are in the estate planning process and you are thinking of adding your minor child as a Trust beneficiary, contact a skilled attorney for help and read on to learn more.

A Trustees as a Temporary Owner of a Trust’s Assets

After creating a Trust in which you name a minor child as a beneficiary, you need to appoint a Trustee. Trustees are the temporary legal owners of Trust assets, and beneficiaries are the actual beneficial owners of Trust assets. Generally, a trustee is supposed to manage Trust assets for beneficiaries and only use the assets in the Trust beneficiaries’ best interest.

It is vital to note that the length of time it takes before a Trust’s Trustee can administer assets to the actual beneficial owners depends entirely on the Trust’s creator (grantor).

Is There a Right Age for a Beneficiary To Receive Trust Assets?

As earlier mentioned, even though individuals over 18 can own assets in their names, it might not be a wise idea to allow a person over 18, who is still young, to receive all Trust distributions at once, especially if you are dealing with a large distribution. It is usually advisable for a grantor to require a beneficiary to wait until they reach an age where they are more likely to make wise decisions before receiving their share of the Trust assets. For example, a grantor can require a beneficiary to wait until they reach the age of 35 before receiving their share of the Trust assets. Also, a grantor can provide a beneficiary with multiple distributions of the Trust assets. For example, a grantor can require that a beneficiary receives 40% of their share of the Trust assets at the age of 25 and the remaining 60% at the age of 35.

Contact The Probate Guy for Legal Help

If you have a minor child and are in the estate planning process, you should speak to an attorney to learn how best to handle things. Contact the skilled and dedicated California probate attorney Robert L. Cohen – The Probate Guy – today to schedule a free telephonic consultation.


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I love being a probate attorney. I love helping people through a very difficult time in their lives with the probate process. My practice focuses solely on probate matters. My job is to complete the probate process as efficiently and painlessly for my clients as possible. I have found that paying the upfront costs of probate adds unneeded stress, so I will advance all of the fees and costs for the probate. No money is required to complete the probate. I will be reimbursed at the end of the case when you receive your inheritance. Call me NOW to discuss your case for free.

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