My child is a beneficiary to an estate, what do I do?

If there is a Will, you should speak with the Estate Trustee and see if the Will states what should happen to your child’s inheritance.  The Will could set up a trust or provide the powers necessary to deal with the inheritance.  In that case the funds will be managed pursuant to the Will. 

In Ontario, a parent or guardian is not automatically entitled to receive and manage his or her own child’s money.  If the parent or guardian wants to manage the funds then they must apply to Court to be the Guardian of Property for their child.

If there is no Will, then the funds are paid into court to the Accountant of the Superior Court of Justice for the Office of the Children’s Lawyer to manage if there is no Guardian for Property appointed to manage the property of the child.  A parent or guardian can make application to request payments out of court for the direct benefit of the child.  Once the child turns 18 you can contact the court to have the funds released. 

If the amount received is less than $10,000, then the money can be paid to a parent (if the child resides with the parent), a person who has lawful custody of the child or to the child if the child has a legal obligation to support another person instead of into Court.