Shar`y conditions regulating disposing of the pension, Zakah, and money saved for children

Q: I am a widow. My husband passed away leaving me with five children, aged 3, 9, 11, 13, and 15; he also left us a house, and a monthly pension. My father has now been appointed as the children's guardian. Some people tell me that I should keep a record of the money I spend (Part No. 16; Page No. 352) on myself, the children, and the house. They even tell me it is not permissible to use the monthly pension or the money my family and relatives give me to go on Hajj - the obligatory Hajj. During one of the summer vacations, I took my children to visit some relatives (my uncles) in the UAE. However, people told me that it was not permissible for me to do that, in terms of spending the money. My question now is: Are they all right in what they are saying? What are the legal limits and conditions of spending the monthly pension and the money I am given?Should I pay Zakah on it? Is it permissible for me to give Sadaqah (voluntary charity) from this money or buy luxury goods, such as antiques, landscape art, or buy new furniture for the house, etc? Please advise me.

A: Firstly: The monthly pension mentioned above should be divided between you and your children, according to the pension plan. Secondly: It is obligatory for a guardian to protect the money belonging to the children in their charge. They should provide them with food, clothing, and whatever else they need. Also, a guardian should invest the children's money until they reach the age of consent. It is not permissible for them to spend it, unless it is likely to be to their benefit. Thirdly: Zakah should be paid on the money saved for the children whenever a lunar year passes. The percentage to be paid as Zakah is 2.5 % of the total. (Part No. 16; Page No. 353) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.