Younger adults with children are prime candidates for developing an estate plan under Florida law. The adult parents will be concerned about what can happen to the children if the parents die before the children reach adulthood. This may be even more pressing where one or more of the children may have special estate planning needs to provide for.

Other factors such as buying a house, getting married, receiving an inheritance and having children will likely prove influential. Reciprocal wills between the husband and wife will allow for the most options regarding the best interests of the children. In the will, the parent can establish a testamentary trust that will be managed by the appointed trustee. One can specify special instructions for the use of the funds on behalf of the children and also the ages and terms of distribution.

The funds do not have to be distributed by age 18 or 21. There can be terms included that require the trustee to distribute at later ages such as 25 or 30. Some of the funds may be earmarked for those children who attend college. There may be restrictions and conditions placed on the funds, but the wording of such trust provisions should be done by an experienced estate planning attorney due to the potential complexity of the issues.

The Florida testamentary will may also contain a provision that appoints a guardian for the persons of the children if both parents are prematurely deceased. This may be the same person as the trustee of the funds established in the will. However, parents may consider having two different persons in these roles so as to insert a certain “checks and balances” approach. That approach may keep one person from consolidating excessive power and tends to assure more flexibility toward the children’s estate planning needs.