Sometimes couples with young children ask whether a child under age 18 can receive an inheritance. The question of child inheritance is a good one. In Illinois, a minor child cannot receive his or her inheritance while they’re still under 18.
In a probate situation, if both parents were to pass away, the court would set aside assets intended for the child. An order would then be entered allowing the child to claim them upon reaching the proper age, but would not award them to the child outright.
Is there any way you can go about planning for this type of situation involving child inheritance?
Yes, by setting up a trust that will hold the assets for the benefit of the child. Any decisions would be made by the person acting as the trustee and consistent with the terms of the trust. The assets could be potentially used for the benefit of the child prior to reaching age 18.
There are a couple of other advantages of going this route.
First, in a child inheritance situation where the assets are being administered by the trust, there would not be a need for a separate probate court proceeding, at least for this purpose.
Secondly, the trust may allow the delivery of assets to be stretched out over a broader period of time. Therefore, the child would be receiving them later on in life as opposed to inheriting assets all at once upon reaching age 18. This can be a way to protect the assets and ensure they will be available over time.
If you have questions about how to set up your estate to address such considerations, feel free to contact us at Windy City Legal.