If you're talking property, assets or particularly large amounts of money the cost of setting up a trust is worthwhile. For smaller amounts, there are inexpensive investment products available that can be taken out on behalf of the child, held in trust, and which mature when they reach 18 or 21. Trust funds are principally a legal arrangement so you need a solicitor to guide you through the details. How the money is invested is a financial matter and that's where an IFA can help you. IFA's are best recommended personally.
A trust is simply a parcel of assets, cash, property or whatever that is held on behalf of the young person until they reach majority usually. Trustees are legally appointed to look after the parcel and various conditions are set. Sometimes, for example, this can be that the young person, if they require cash earlier than the date when they officially inherit - let's say they're going on to university or want to buy a home - there is a system whereby they can apply to the trustees for an advance.
There is nothing to stop a child under 18 inheriting money directly. My own DS, then aged 2, received a legacy from my late grandmother which was simply banked in a savings account. I hold the pass-book at the moment but it will be his when he hits 16.
Thanks for the freedback. Yes - 3 of mine and 2 nephews I am one of the executors of the will and I am going to have to sort it all out !
I read somewhere that children under 18 can't inherit directly and it has to be held in trust. So that basically means that you have to have adult trustees who are responsible for managing it until the approprite time. In our case the age is 21 rather than 18. I guess I am going to have to get legal advice on it.
It is useful to hear other's experience though. I hadn't realised the trustee's woul dhave discretion to release some of it earlier.
It depends on the terms of the will. My will is made out that if I die before DS hits 21 the money is held in trust on his behalf. If he needed money from it for a degree course or whatever he can apply to the trustees for funds. If the deceased's will doesn't make that kind of stipulation - and my late grandmother's will didn't - the money can go directly to the beneficiaries. She trusted me to make sure DS got his share and not to spend it and was quite right to do so. The cheque was made out to him and I banked it in an account in his name. However, I have known families where mum and dad have rattled through inheritances intended for the children.... even, in one case, where the money was held in trust and the parents were the trustees.