It is not uncommon for a minor child to be named as a beneficiary in a will. In California, minor children are not allowed to inherit large sums of money outright. When a minor child inherits property, a guardian of the child’s estate must be appointed until the child turns 18-years-old or is deemed mature enough to handle his/her financial affairs. Read on to learn more about when a minor child inherits property.

Property Guardianship When Minor Child Inherits Property

When a minor child inherits property and a child is left a gift outside of a trust or custodial account, a property guardian will need to be appointed through the probate court. The property guardian will manage the property until the child turns 18-years-old. Being a property guardian is similar to being a custodian or trustee. When a minor child inherits property, the  guardian must carefully manage the money and/or property for the benefit of the minor. The guardian must file formal accountings with the court illustrating how the minor’s money was distributed. The property guardianship will terminate when the minor turns 18-years-old.

“A People’s Choice was able to help us file all of the necessary legal paperwork to obtain a court order for our child’s inheritance at a fraction of the cost the attorney quoted.” J. Paul
“I had no idea of the legal technicalities when a minor child inherits property. I was quoted several thousand dollars for an attorney to handle this issue for me” J. Paul

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Guardianship Ad Litem

A Guardian ad Litem refers to a person the court appoints to advocate what solutions will be in the best interest of a minor. When a minor child inherits property, the Guardian ad Litem has no control of the child’s property. First and foremost, the Guardian ad Litem  is to advocate for the child’s best interest. More importantly, the Guardian ad Litem is not the child’s attorney, but an independent third party that recommends to the court a permanent resolution that is in the child’s best interest.

When a minor child inherits property, a Guardian ad Litem can be appointed to provide a recommendation on how the property should be managed on the child’s behalf. When determining what is in the best interest of the child, the Guardian ad Litem will visit his/her home, school, and contact family members and friends to obtain information.

Blocked Accounts

If a minor receives money by inheritance, the funds are usually required to be placed into a blocked account. A blocked bank account is an account placed in the name of an adult for the benefit of a minor. It is specifically marked on bank records as a blocked account. This means no one has access to the account without a court order.  A withdrawal from a blocked account is only granted by a court order.

When the minor turns 18-years-old, the minor will receive his/her entire inheritance. Contact A People’s Choice for more information on how to release money from a blocked account.

If you are the child’s guardian, you may be able to petition the court to obtain funds from the child’s inheritance to pay for his/her basic lifestyle needs. For example, you may request funds from the child’s inheritance to cover his/her medical benefits, educational expenses, and recreational activities.  We can help you petition the court for the necessary authority when a minor child inherits property.  Contact us at 800-747-2780 for more information.

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