Providing for Minors

It is important that your estate plan address issues regarding the upbringing of your children, particularly minors.

You can name guardians for your minor children in your Will.  Please note that if one parent dies, the surviving parent is automatically the guardian of your minor children.  You want to provide instructions in the event you both die when your children are minors, or in case the surviving spouse is unable to care for your children.

On the financial side, you may want to have a Trust or Trusts created for your minor or adult children upon your death.  The trustee will monitor the investments and distributions of income and principal as needed.  You can name the same people as both trustees and guardians of your children.  On the other hand, you may select different people because you want to reduce the burden on them, or because each of them has different strengths, or perhaps you believe this will better protect your children’s interests.   If you have not arranged to create a Trust, the assets received by your minor children will be put in a restricted account under very strict controls set by the court.  For instance, Virginia courts have refused to authorize surviving parents to buy a car or pay car insurance with the funds from the restricted account.

With a Trust, you will be able to provide instructions as to when you would like the beneficiaries to receive your assets and under which conditions, based on age and/or needs.  You can even create incentives with disbursements from the Trust based on behavior and education.  All too often, children receive substantial assets before they are mature enough to handle them properly, with devastating results.

For further information, please call Miorini Law, PLLC at (703) 448-6121 or send an email to