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I am in the fortunate position of cashing out a bunch of company stock to become a "thousand-aire". I would like to use some of the money to create a trust fund or something like that for a 10yr old girl I mentor so she can go to college - her family could never afford to send her. How much should I give - assuming this is an 8 year investment till she needs the money? Does anyone know how this is done or have suggestions on the best way to set it up? I don't want her to use it until she's of age and I also want to make sure it's used only for education expenses.

Here's another idea for you: invest the money in a section 529 plan (also called a "qualified state tuition plan") with the child as the beneficiary. Most states offer such a plan. This will give you control of the money, which will grow tax-deferred until it is withdrawn. (If you pick a plan from a state other than the one you live in, you may have to pay state income tax on the returns.) If the money is not used for higher education expenses of the beneficiary, you can get the money back, but you'll have to pay a penalty (and in some cases forfeit your investment gains: read the fine print of your plan for details). And the money is not treated as an asset of the child, so it won't affect her financial aid.

See www.savingforcollege.com for a guide to these plans.
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