Many parents leave money to their children in their will. And while the parents may expect that they will be alive as their child grows into adulthood and beyond, sadly sometimes parents pass away before their child is grown. This means that the child will inherit per their parents will. But is the minor simply given their inheritance outright?
Guardians of minors
If a minor inherits a large sum of money through another’s will or if a minor is awarded money in a personal injury settlement, they are not allowed to handle these funds on their own. This is due to their age and immaturity. In Florida, children who inherit or are awarded anything more than $15,000 the law requires the court to appoint a guardian over the minor. Minor guardianships are overseen by the court.
Duties of a guardian
Guardians in such situations, whether they are guardian of the person or guardian of property, have the same authority as a plenary guardian. Guardians must act in good faith and in the minor’s best interests. Guardians must file an initial guardianship report and then an annual guardianship report every year they serve as guardian. Guardians of the property must protect it, preserve it and prudently invest it. Once the guardianship has ended, the guardian must deliver the property to the ward.
Ultimately, guardianship is meant to protect the minor. Guardians must uphold their fiduciary duties, as well as administrative duties. Parents of minors may want to consider who they would like to serve as guardian of their child, and they can document this choice officially by including it in their will.