Parents raise their children and help them on their way to financial adulthood. But what if both parents pass away or one of them appoints the children as sole heirs after a divorce, for example? Who will guide them on their way to financial adulthood or independence?
Guidance requires a personal involvement with the children. Growth towards financial adulthood means that the child learns to see the value of money/assets.
To accomplish this, we will talk to the children. In addition to the ability to identify with the child, a testamentary administrator also needs to have a sense of the child’s abilities/inabilities at certain times. What is it that the child can already do on his or her own and what not (or not yet)? Within this context, we will make financial means/assets available which the child needs for his or her personal expenditure (personal care, sports, studies, etc.) and the wish to make other expenditure. Agreements will be made in this regard. Sometimes, we will make agreements while being curious to see whether the child can already bear responsibility. In that case, we will provide an absolute and relatively small amount while not knowing for sure whether the money will be spent properly (although we reasonably suspect that it will). Our final goal is to help the child acquire full independent power to dispose of his or her assets and manage his or her finances.
Testamentary administration usually ends when the child reaches a certain age and has acquired independent power to dispose of his or her assets. It often happens that we are asked not to terminate the guidance and to stay on as a consultant.
Handicapped (only) child
We can address an important concern of parents having a handicapped child, especially if that child is an only child. For who will assume responsibility for a responsible management and spending of the inheritance left to the child?
In situations in which we act as testamentary administrator for handicapped children, we will make proper agreements with the persons or organisations assuming responsibility for the personal care for the child. What financial means need to be made available for the personal care?