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When do I need a minor's trust for my children?

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Updated: 4/13/2007 6:35 pm
If your children are minors, in other words, under 18 years of age, the court will require that all financial assets passing directly to them be put in a blocked account and placed only in extremely low risk investments such as certificates of deposit. Generally, assets cannot be invested in the stock market and no changes, not even switching banks, can occur without going to court, which usually result in both costs and delays. If the minor children receive the family home or other real property, the trustee managing the property has to go to court to sell it, even if he or she plans to purchase a new home for the children with the proceeds. In addition, the court may not allow the sale. The children will automatically receive the property when they reach their 18th birthday, another disadvantage in the eyes of many parents. Therefore, when you have minor children, it's very important to consider making a will with a minor's trust or a living trust. Making a trust will allow you to give a trustee broad powers and flexibility to purchase, sell, or trade the assets as needed to manage them in the best interests of the children, regardless of future events. The trustee will be able to make changes without having to go to court for approval. You can name your preferred guardian for the children and your preferred trustee for the children's assets. You can also choose to continue the trust until your child reaches the age of 25 or older, rather than distributing the property at age 18. For more information about making a trust for your minor children, please contact an attorney.
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