With a trust, minor beneficiaries can have a trustee who will manage and invest the trust funds free of the costs and restrictions that arise when a court must appoint and supervise a guardian of the property until the beneficiary comes of age.
Additionally, with a trust, you can continue the management of a beneficiary’s assets to whatever age you desire; certainly beyond age 18 (the age at which ALL guardianships must terminate). Many families choose to keep their beneficiary assets under trustee control until somewhere between age 25-27.
The management of a beneficiary’s assets can include disbursement of assets and/or funds in increments, according to the directions you put in the trust (e.g., 1/3 distribution at age 25, 1/3 distribution at age 30, and the balance at age 35). Of course, the trustee can use any or all of the trust principal for the benefit of the beneficiary during this period.
Also, if there is any question of management skills or capacity of the beneficiary, or to insure that your estate does not go to a son-in-law or a daughter-in-law, the trust can continue for the child’s lifetime and then pass to the child’s issue at his or her death. This will also keep your assets in your family rather than having them be subject to attachment by the state for medical treatment. You can protect the assets from any potential of dissipation of the entire estate while providing for the beneficiary’s needs, as determined by you.
With a living trust these trusts are already in place at the time of your death and will begin immediately for the benefit and protection of your beneficiaries.