At what age should a beneficiary inherit?

For my clients who have young children, the most difficult question is often, who should be the guardian. The second most difficult question: when should they inherit?

Generally, I would not recommend anyone inheriting at age 18; most 18-year-olds are not mature enough to handle a large inheritance, and once your house is sold and your life insurance is liquidated, there could be hundreds of thousands of dollars going to a very young adult. However, some young adults may be mature enough to manage a large inheritance, and some 40-year-olds are still not ready. Ultimately, it is up to the parent to decide. The bottom line is that it is a very individual decision, and should be made thoughtfully to ensure that the inheritance is not squandered quickly after the parent’s death but managed to provide for the child’s needs for potentially a longer term.