Posts tagged California Uniform Transfers to Minors Act
How do I protect gifts to children or others from attack?

It's not unusual for parents to make gifts to their children. Sometimes these gifts are made to custodial accounts under the California Uniform Transfers to Minors Act. Many times these gifts are made by one spouse or the other without much thought to the premise that the gifting spouse assumes the other spouse would consent (or the dollar amount isn't really worth fighting over).

While it is true that gifts made by both spouses mutually don't require consent, some might consider taking an extra precautionary step of documenting that consent when making a gift to to a minor child (or other third party for that matter) in order to prevent one spouse from claiming lack of consent to the gift.

How do you ensure you got consent?

Simple, just obtain a document which contains the other spouse's written agreement to make the gift to the third party. Having this in writing can not only make sure that you and your spouse are on the same page, but it will also ensure that the gift remains valid and not subject to later attack.

With statistics showing that disagreements about money is a leading cause of divorce, it may even even help to foster a healthier marital relationship.

What if I want to leave property or other gifts to a minor?

Making a gift to a minor may be difficult for a number of reasons. The minor may not be legally able to manage the property that you leave for them. In addition, they may not be responsible enough to manage the asset for their long term benefit.

For some, making gifts to their minor children may be a technique to reduce the size of their estate for estate tax purposes. Whatever the reason may be, there are a couple of options for making a gift to a minor that may be suitable depending on your specific situation.


Some people decide to use a trust as the primary vehicle for holding and managing property for a minor. The trust has the benefit of having a Trustee who can manage the trust asset and who may be granted the discretion to make distributions to or for the benefit of a minor child. This trust could be established for your child either while you're alive, or it can be set up at the time of your death.

One downside to using a trust, however, is that the cost of maintaining a separate trust for a minor child may be excessive in relation to the value of the assets held in the trust. 

California Uniform Transfers to Minors Act

Where the gift to minor person is relatively small, using a custodial account under the California Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (CUTMA) may be more attractive. Generally, the gift is held by the Custodian you select until the minor child reaches a specified age.

Figuring out the best way to transfer your assets to minor beneficiaries can be challenging. Most people grapple with the desire to provide for the child but not grant unfettered access in a way that would cause the minor to lose motivation in pursuing his or her own life goals. Estate planning lawyers can provide helpful insights on how to structure such a gift.