If you wish to leave a gift or share of your estate to someone under 18 then you need to consider the following points.
If the child is under 18 then they are considered to be a minor in Law and as such they are regarded as not having the necessary capacity to accept a gift or inheritance until they reach 18.
As a result the funds or assets will need to be held on trust for them and looked after by the trustees you have chosen in your Will.
This is why it is always advisable when dealing with minor beneficiaries to choose 2 trustees whom you consider reliable and trustworthy, and you may wish to appoint them as the child`s guardians as well as they will probably understand the child`s needs and how best they can be met.
The Will can be drafted to allow the Trustees to manage the assets for the minor beneficiary to include investing funds for their future benefit or until they reach the age of maturity at 18. This can include providing financial support throughout the child`s development such as payment of school fees, hobbies or holidays.
It is therefore important to choose trustees that you know and trust to undertake such an important role.
When drafting your Will for a minor beneficiary, you should also ensure you provide for any future children or grandchildren not yet born so as to avoid any future problems. It is advisable to avoid limiting your gift to specific names in this situation.
However, where stepchildren are concerned it is advisable to make specific provision for them in your Will as they do not have an automatic right to inherit from your estate.
Finally a will that creates a trust for your minor beneficiaries must have at least 2 trustees to satisfy legal requirements .
STEP Standard provisions provide trustees with comprehensive powers for the maintenance and provision for minor beneficiaries.
We include STEP Standard provisions in our Wills to give you peace of mind that your children will be protected and provided after your death.