A “Young Adult Trust” is a type of trust created for younger persons, usually aged 18-25 years old. It allows money to be transferred to the young adult with certain restrictions on the way they can access and use the money.
Young adult trusts usually take the form of a revocable living trust. They are generally created by the young adult’s parents, though it can also be created by the young adult themselves. In a young adult trust, the child can be named as both the beneficiary and a co-trustee.
A typical young adult trust has the following features:
- Designation of trustees by the young adult (typically, the parents and the young adults are named as co-trustees)
- Pour-over will provisions, which allow any assets left in the young adult’s name to be transferred to the trust upon their death
- Documents pertaining to health care, as well as an agent who will be appointed to make medical decisions in case of the young adult’s disability or incapacitation
- Provisions regarding a durable power of attorney for making financial decisions
- Designation of beneficiaries, which may include charities if desired
One of the main advantages of creating a trust for young adults is that it may help teach the young adult financial responsibility and self-control. Many parents would like to transfer assets to their children when they reach the age of majority (18 years old), but are hesitant to place assets in the hands of inexperienced young adults. A young adult trust is an excellent way to address this dilemma.
Additional advantages associated with young adult trusts include:
- Allows the child to have a “voice” when it comes to the management of finances and assets
- Creates an atmosphere of legal guidance and limitations
- Creates a vehicle through which gifts may be transferred, yet shielded from reckless or irresponsible use and spending
- Helps keep valuable assets under family control
- May function like a pre-nuptial agreement, as the young adult can indicate which assets they would like to keep separate upon marriage
- Teaches spending discipline and financial management
Thus, a young adult trust is one option for younger adults to learn responsibility and begin managing their finances at an early age.
Creating a young adult trust can be a very involved and complex process. You may wish to hire an estate lawyer to assist you with a young adult trust. Your attorney can assist you with the creation, drafting, reviewing, and finalizing of the trust so that it conforms to the laws in your area. Also, in the event of a legal dispute over the trust, an experienced attorney near you can represent your interests in court during a lawsuit.