Oklahoma inheritance law addresses important issues regarding what happens to property left to a beneficiary after a death. One issue is what happens if money or property is left to someone underage. Someone who is not yet an adult cannot receive and manage money left to him. As a result, the law dictates what happens to the money and property and how it is managed on behalf of the child.
The specifics of what happens to money left to a child in Oklahoma varies depending upon how the gift is made.
It is important for parents and others who wish to leave money to children to understand the law and make informed choices for how to give a child an inheritance. Parents and caregivers of a child who has inherited money also need to know the law.
Parman & Easterday can provide invaluable assistance with what happens when a minor inherits, and help parents and relatives structure their gifts appropriately. We can also provide assistance after a death when a child has been left an inheritance. Give us a call today at (405) 703-9987 or (913) 385-9400 or contact us online to find out more about the ways we can assist you in understanding Oklahoma inheritance law as it pertains to minor children.
What Happens Under Oklahoma Inheritance Law if a Child Inherits?
The specifics of what happens when an underaged child inherits money is determined by how the gift was structured.
One option is to create a trust and name the child as the beneficiary. While the process can be a bit complicated, this is often the best option. When a trust is created, the trust creator (settlor) names a trustee who will manage it on behalf of the child beneficiary. The trustee is responsible for making investments or monitoring money and for managing the trust with a focus on the child’s best interests.
Parents or others making a gift to a child can provide detailed instructions for how the trust assets are to be used and when the trust money and property is to be given to the child. Grandparents can restrict the use of the money to pay for the child’s college education, or direct that it be given to the child on his 20th birthday if he does not attend college.
Another choice is to make a gift to a child under the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act. This means the money is placed in a custodial count and managed by the custodian until the child reaches a certain age. States have their own individual laws on the issue of when child beneficiaries must be given access to the money left to them under the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act.
Finally, there is a different situation if children are simply given a gift in a will or if they inherit money or property under intestacy laws. When a child receives money and no plans have been made for who will manage it or how it will be managed. Oklahoma inheritance law requires that the court appoint a property guardian.
The property guardian appointed by the court will be subject to court oversight of how the money is used, and the money will eventually be transferred to the child when the child becomes an adult. This method is replete with problems and is disfavored by parents and others making a gift to minors because there is no guarantee the property guardian will be someone the gift giver would have chosen and because it can result in a young 18 year old being given lots of money and property with no oversight or strings attached.
Getting Help Understanding Oklahoma Inheritance Law
It is important for anyone who wishes to make a gift to a minor to understand how Oklahoma inheritance law determines what happens to that gift. Parents and other relatives need to use the right legal tools and make informed choices to protect the children to whom they are leaving money and to ensure the assets given to the child are a blessing that is used appropriately.
Parman & Easterday can provide assistance in making gifts to minors as well as with other aspects of estate planning. To find out more about the help we offer, join us for a free seminar. You can also call today at (405) 703-9987 or (913) 385-9400 or contact us online for personalized advice.