By David Disraeli
Most people are aware that a person can not inherit or own assets until they reach the age of eighteen (in Texas and most places). If a minor does inherit property without proper planning the state becomes the trustee. A court appearance is required for each distribution and it is extremely burdensome. Proper planning requires that a trust is included in any will where a minor (child, grandchild, niece, etc.) may inherit property. For example, if you leave all your assets to grown children and one of them dies prior to receiving the property, the money will pass to their children even if you did not mention that in your will.
A problem I see frequently is that clients name their children as secondary beneficiaries on their life insurance policies, 401ks, IRAs, and other non-probate assets without realizing that the children simply can not inherit the money.
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