The law governing Florida’s UTMA accounts has been amended. Effective July 1, 2015, persons creating a UTMA account for a minor theoretically can create a custodianship that does not terminate until the minor attains age 25. Previously, Florida law required that UTMA accounts terminate when the minor attains age 21.
When working with clients who have minor children, we spend a lot of time discussing the kids: their individual personalities, the values the clients are trying to instill, and concerns for their future. We do our best to craft an estate plan that will secure the children’s financial future. This usually involves planning both from a financial perspective (making sure there is enough money for future expenses, especially if something happened to the clients), with the help of the clients’ financial advisors, and from a legal standpoint (ensuring the children will have access to any money when and how the clients judge best).
In the first part of this series, we discussed how failing to address the issue of adult adoption in your estate plan can cause unnecessary litigation after your death, even when there is nothing sinister about the adoption. In this article, we will discuss what happened to a man who attempted to use adult adoption to preserve his lavish lifestyle at the expense of his biological children.
Our Relationships Series previously has covered the unique estate planning challenges faced by blended families and by same-sex and other unmarried couples. Today we will address another group that is in dire need of proper planning: families with children under the age of 18.
Summer is here! That means lots of sunshine, warm weather, and kids enjoying time to play outdoors. But will your kids be able to enjoy their summers if you are not around to care for them? Most people do not like to think about the possibility that something may happen to them where they would not be able to care for their children, but the unfortunate reality is that unexpected things do happen. If something occurs that renders you unable to care for your children, even for a brief period of time, and you do not have a plan naming guardians in place then the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) likely would have to take your children. This means that your children would be cared for by strangers until you either were well again or until the authorities could figure out other arrangements. No parent wants that.
Just read an interesting article at http://www.miamiherald.com/living/family/story/1175433.html. It reminded me not only how important it is to name a guardian for your minor children should something happen to you, but also how difficult making this decision can be. Compounding this difficulty is the fact that many parents make at least one of six common mistakes when naming a guardian. Obtaining good legal advice and counselling throughout the process can help eliminate mistakes and lessen the stress of the decision. At The Cramer Law Center we specifically focus on the needs of parents who face decisions as to how to best plan for the future of their minor children.