If you do not specify the age(s) at which your children are to receive an inheritance from you, they will receive it at age 18. Very few children have the maturity to handle a significant inheritance (or any form of inheritance) at age 18.
You can specify at whatever age you want your children to receive the money. You can also provide for a graduated distribution with the inheritance being paid out at multiple ages. For example:
- Age 20 – 20%
- Age 25 – 50% of the balance
- Age 30 – the balance
It is generally advisable to give your executor the authority to pay money to or for the benefit of your children before the specified ages. As it is difficult to predict what your children might need money for, it may be prudent to pick an executor whose judgment you trust completely and give them discretion in relation to when and why they can give money to your child.
If your child is financially dependant at the time of your death, you need to make adequate provision for them, failing which they can apply to a court for support from your estate.
Many Wills indicate that money may be paid to the parent or legal guardian of any person who is incapable or under the age of majority. As parents or legal guardians may misuse funds, be careful of this clause and in the selection of your executor.
Feel free to contact us at any point for assistance or advice with respect to Estate Law or Estate Administration. We may be reached at 705.435.4339 or contact us via email.