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John Elder
John Elder, Estate & Elder Law
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 4631
Experience:  Over 14 years experience in Medicaid, Estates, Trust.
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My elderly mother is a Pennsylvania resident and her will contains

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My elderly mother is a Pennsylvania resident and her will contains cash bequests to my children, who range in age from 11 to 21. They are residents of Virginia. I will be a co-executor of the estate. When she dies, how should I handle the money that is left to the grand children? Can I just stick it in their 529 college accounts or does there have to be some special arrangement for them because they are minors? Thanks!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  John Elder replied 1 year ago.
Welcome! Thank you for your question.

Unless her will makes provisions for a Trust for the benefit of at least the minor children then the bequests to the minors (children under age 18) will have to be held by a court appointed guardian. The guardian will have to qualify and be appointed by the probate court and will be under strict scrutiny over the management of the funds until the children turn 18. Once the children turn 18 the funds must be turned over to the children outright, regardless of the situation of the children.

There is no way that 529 plans can be utilized in such a situation.

Your elderly mother would much better serve the grandchildren by leaving the bequests to them in a protective trust instead of outright. The grandmother can appoint anyone she wants to manage the trust for the grandchildren and can set any rules she wants for the use of the funds for their benefit. This prevents the requirement of court involvement and even allows the trustee to manage the funds for years after the children turn 18 if the grandmother chooses.

I cannot provide you with legal advise. I have provided you with information about the law related to your question. My answer, and any information that you find online, should not take the place of having a consultation with a lawyer in your area to advise you regarding your specific issues.

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Thank you,

John

John Elder, Estate & Elder Law
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 4631
Experience: Over 14 years experience in Medicaid, Estates, Trust.
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