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Eight Facts About Minors Receiving Large Inheritances Under California Law

Minors Receiving Large Inheritances

Under California probate law, minors cannot receive large inheritances outright during an estate administration. Unfortunately, some estate attorneys make the mistake of not taking the age of beneficiaries into consideration when drafting wills and trusts. In this cased you end up with facing issues because under the terms of the will or trust there are minors receiving large inheritances. Other times, a parent passes away without an estate plan, and their sole heir is their minor child. Regardless of the circumstance, it is vital that you contact an experienced San Diego probate lawyer for assistance when administering an estate that has minor beneficiaries.

The following are eight facts about minors as beneficiaries under California estate laws, rules, and regulations:

  1. Inheritances over $20,000 generally require the guardianship appointment for minor beneficiaries.
  2. Inheritances under $20,000 may be eligible to be held in custodianship under the Uniform Transfers to Minor Act.
  3. If a minor is the beneficiary of a large inheritance, a guardian of the estate must be appointed until the child turns 18.
  4. If the child can otherwise demonstrate that they are able to manage their own estate, the court may consider distributing the assets to the child earlier than age 18.
  5. Parents of a minor child are not automatically named guardians of an estate.
  6. If there is no will, or if the will did not have a proper guardianship designation for managing a child’s inheritance, the court will make the appointment.
  7. Even when a minor child is living with a parent, a separate guardian may still be appointed to manage the estate or inheritance.
  8. In order to be appointed as a guardian, a petition must be presented to the probate court.

Our article, San Diego Estate Planning Attorney: CA Probate Process Explained, offers more about the administration process. To learn more, or for assistance with probating an estate, contact an experienced San Diego probate attorney today. Call the Grossman Law Firm at (888) 443-6590.

Scott Grossman

Scott Grossman


The Grossman Law Firm, APC · 525 B Street, Suite 1500, San Diego, CA 92101 · (951) 523-8307

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