When a child you love has inherited property in a Louisiana succession, the property may benefit the child financially for many years to come. But if the child is under the age of 18 and has no trust or trustee, it’s important to understand what happens to the property until the child turns 18.
It would be unfair to deny the child an inheritance just because they are not yet an adult in the eyes of the law. However, children cannot manage their own assets, and specific steps need to be taken to protect the child’s inheritance until the child becomes an adult.
The Role of a Tutor
The child’s tutor, also known as a guardian in other states, is legally responsible for overseeing and managing the property until the minor child becomes an adult. In Louisiana, there are four forms of tutorships that are typically appointed in the following order of priority:
- Natural tutorship. If one or both of the child’s parents are living and retain parental rights, they are the child’s tutor.
- Tutorship by will. If both parents died, the tutor named in the last surviving parent’s will is the child’s tutor if that person is willing to take on this responsibility.
- Tutorship by effect of law. If both parents died without naming a tutor who is willing to serve in this role, the court will decide on a tutor. Typically, the tutor will be a close relative such as a grandparent, aunt, or uncle.
- Dative tutorship. If both parents died without naming a tutor and there is no close relative who is willing or able to serve, the court may name an unrelated person to be the child’s tutor.
The child’s tutor has many responsibilities to care for the child’s health, education, and welfare. When it comes to inherited property, the tutor must be prudent in managing the property. If the tutor does not manage the property appropriately, a judge may require a change in tutorship to protect the child.
If You Have Questions About a Minor Child’s Inheritance
Our Louisiana succession lawyers are here to help you protect the child you love. Contact us at any time for help. We will do everything we can to make things as easy as possible during this difficult time for your family.