Probate Attorney Daniel A. McGowan practices in Ohio and Florida and can be reached for a free consultation by clicking here.
Executors and Administrators frequently face the question of what to consider when handling distributions of estate assets to minors and trusts. Fortunately, there are a variety of statutory options that are available when making distributions to minors. Factors influencing the decision include the amount and nature of the assets that are being distributed, and whether the decedent has a will that authorizes the use of custodians to hold assets for the benefit of a minor beneficiary. The answers to these questions will pave the road for the probate lawyer and her client to choose the best option.
A common method of distributions involves the probate lawyer’s use of a facility payment provision. If the decedent died with a will that authorizes the payment of assets to a custodian on behalf of a minor beneficiary, Ohio probate law permits the executor to make the distributions to a custodian for the minor beneficiary.
There are situations where a decedent either dies without a will or without a facility of payments provision. Here, if the subject property does not exceed the value of $10,000 then the probate estate administrator is permitted under statute to make the distribution to the custodian for the minor beneficiary. If the value exceeds $10,000 then the executor or administrator must seek authorization from the court in order to transfer the proeprty to a custodian for the minor beneficiary.
If the probate estate involves distributions to the minor beneficiary of considerable wealth, the probate lawyer should consider establishing a guardian over the minor’s estate under the general guardianship statutes.
Finally, when the probate lawyer is preparing an estate plan, she should consider drafting a trust for the decedent to provide for assets to be held until the beneficiary reaches a certain age.