Uniform Transfers to Minors Act

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The Uniform Transfers To Minors Act (UTMA) is a uniform act drafted and recommended by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in 1986, and subsequently enacted by most U.S. States, which provides a mechanism under which gifts can be made to a minor without requiring the presence of an appointed guardian for the minor, and which satisfies the Internal Revenue Service requirements for qualifying a gift of up to $14,000 for exclusion from the gift tax.[1] It is an extension of the Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA).

The Act allows the donor of the gift to transfer title to a custodian who will manage and invest the property until the minor reaches a certain age. The age is generally 21, but is different in some states (usually 18 in those cases).[2] In the interim, the custodian can also make payments for the benefit of the minor out of the corpus of the gift.

The donor can serve as a custodian, rather than transferring the property to someone else to hold for the minor. However, the value of custodianship property is included in a donor’s gross estate if the donor dies while serving as the custodian.[3]


  1. ^ Smith, Constance D. (November 2005). "Retaining Control of Gifts to Minors: UTMA and IRC 2503(c) Trust Options". Colorado Lawyer. 34 (39). Retrieved 1 October 2011. 
  2. ^ UGMA and UTMA Custodial Accounts
  3. ^ Stuit v. Commissioner, 54 T.C. 580 (1970), aff'd, 452 F.2d 190 (7th Cir.1971)