Examples of Property Management

Here are some examples of how Nolo’s Online Will property management options might be selected. The following scenarios are only intended as suggestions.

Remember, if you live in South Carolina, you cannot create a UTMA custodianship.

EXAMPLE 1: Married, adult children age 25 and older.

You want to leave all your property, worth $250,000, to your spouse and name surviving children as alternate beneficiaries. As long as you think the children are all sufficiently mature to handle their shares of the property if your spouse does not survive you, answer no when the program asks if you wish to set up property management.

EXAMPLE 2: Married, children aged two, five and nine.

You want to leave all your property, which is worth $250,000, to your spouse and name your children as alternate beneficiaries. You use the property management feature and select the UTMA option to manage the property if it passes to your children. You name your wife’s mother—the same person you have named as personal guardian—as custodian, and name your brother as alternate personal guardian and alternate custodian. The property will be managed by the custodian until the age set by your state’s law. You also name your wife’s mother as property guardian if management is needed for property your minor children receive outside of your will. Later, when your children are older and you have accumulated more property, you may wish to make a new will and switch from the UTMA management approach to a pot trust so that the property can be used to meet the children’s needs as required.

EXAMPLE 3: Single or married; two minor children from a previous marriage and one minor child with your present partner.

You want to leave all your property, which is worth $250,000, directly to your children. You can use the UTMA, set up the trust for each child or create a pot trust. You should also name a property guardian to manage any property your minor child might get outside of your will. Consider naming your spouse to manage the children’s property, and choose another trusted adult as an alternate.

EXAMPLE 4: Single or married; two adult children from a previous marriage—ages 23 and 27—and one minor child with your present partner.

You decide to divide $300,000 equally among the children. To accomplish this, you establish a trust for each child from the previous marriage and put the termination age at 30. You name your current spouse, who gets along well with the children, as trustee and a local trust company as alternate trustee. Because your third child is an unusually mature teenager, you choose the UTMA for this child and select 21 as the age at which this child takes any remaining property outright. You appoint your wife as custodian and your sister as successor custodian.

EXAMPLE 5: Married or single; one daughter, age 32, and three minor grand children.

You want to leave $50,000 directly to each of the grandchildren. You establish a custodianship under the UTMA for each grandchild and name your daughter as custodian and her husband as successor custodian.