Estate Planning with Minor Children in DuPage County
Experienced Minor Inheritance Lawyer in Illinois
A major part of estate planning is ensuring that the best interests of your minor children under the age of 18 are protected. We all hope it will not be necessary, but if something should happen to you before your children reach adulthood, having your final affairs in order will ensure that your kids receive their rightful inheritance at an age when they will be responsible enough to handle it. To make sure your kids will be taken care of in the event of a worst case scenario, it is important to have an effective and enforceable estate plan.
Minor inheritance issues require the aid of an attorney with experience and a commitment to carrying out your wishes. For over 30 years, Michael V. LoCicero, Attorney at Law has represented clients for estate planning in DuPage County, Cook County and throughout the Chicago area. Michael understands the need to make sure your children will be provided for when you are gone. He can plan your estate with an eye toward protecting your children’s inheritance exactly as you see fit, giving you the peace of mind of knowing your minor children will be cared for if something should happen to you.
Family Estate Planning
When a person dies, their estate is divided up according to their will; and in the absence of a will, these decisions are made primarily by the probate court. Children under age 18 can inherit money, property or possessions as designated in your will. However, children are unable to receive property left to them or manage that property before they turn 18. A legally appointed guardian would need to be appointed by the court to handle assets for a child, unless a previously prepared legal instrument was created to hold and manage assets for a child. Without such a plan, it is possible that the critical decisions regarding your children’s inheritance will wind up in the hands of the court.
In general, there are three ways to handle a minor’s inheritance in your estate plan:
- Set Up a Trust - Trusts can be established individually for each of your children, or one family trust for all of them. Once created, your designated and named successor trustee will hold and manage property, as you detail in the creating document. You would decide, not a court, how the property is invested, used, managed, and distributed to your children.
- Establish a children’s trust in your will (Testamentary Trust).
- As part of your last will, your experienced attorney can provide trust provisions that will appoint a trusted relative or friend to hold, manage, and distribute assets for your children.
- Utilize the Illinois Uniform Transfers to Minors Act -Under this Act, a custodian is established to hold the minor’s liquid assets, generally bank accounts and certificates of deposit until they reach the age of 18. This option is simpler and less costly than setting up a trust, making it a popular choice for those with relatively small estates.
- Appoint a Guardian - It is always wise to name a guardian for your children. Your stated written preference, as expressed in a trust, will, or Power of Attorney will be first considered by the court if an appointment of a guardian becomes necessary. The Illinois Probate Act provides a process by which the person named by you may be appointed as a guardian to act on a child’s behalf regarding their inherited assets. The guardian may be in charge of the minor, his/her inherited assets, or both.
Minor inheritance issues can become complicated and require the assistance of an experienced professional to ensure that your estate is properly planned. Michael V. LoCicero, Attorney at Law, can give you a free consultation to walk you through the process and help you decide how best to secure your minor children’s inheritance. Contact Michael today at 630-932-7007. He represents clients for family law and estate planning in Cook County and DuPage County including Elmhurst, Lombard, Oak Brook, Hillside, Lemont, Naperville, Willowbrook, Brookfield, and surrounding Illinois communities.