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With children come joy, happiness, headaches, and responsibility. A parent’s natural concern is to make sure the children are cared for. This could be for a short time, when a child stays with grandma and grandpa, while the parents are taking their first trip without the children, or when grandma and grandpa take the children to Disney World. In these situations, there should be a document in place authorizing the temporary authority to make medical decisions.
But making sure the children are taken care of could be for the long term. It is important for parents to nominate a guardian to watch over their brood if the parents are no longer around to do so.
Parents usually are also concerned about the management of finances for the children in the event the parents die prematurely. This can be done in several ways. The default is the appointment of a guardian under court supervision who will control the minor’s funds until age 18. In Ohio, through a custodianship under the Transfers to Minors Act, property can be managed for the child to age 25.
If a parent want to control funds for a child beyond age 25, a trust is required. A trust provides great flexibility for control of money and other property. By the trust document, a parent can say at what ages a child can get at the funds in the trust, and for what purposed the funds can be used. A trust may also provide a child protection against creditors.
There are many flavors of trusts – each serving different purposes. You can explore more in the Trusts area of our website.