How to Close a UGMA Account

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A UGMA account or custodial account was created in 1956 to have a convenient way to give money to minors without the need for a lawyer under the Uniform Gifts to Minors Act. The custodian manages the account and handles all buying and selling, reinvesting and other decisions. Although the custodian can take money from the account, he can only spend it on behalf of the minor. Because the account holder has true ownership of the UGMA, the custodian cannot close it. Termination happens when the child reaches a certain age.

Deposit and transfer all funds or gifts to the UGMA account before the time of termination. The brokerage firm or bank institution you hold the account in will help guide you through the process.

Keep track of the termination age on the account. In most cases, it is when the minor is of legal age, usually 18 to 21 years old. In some states, you can set up a preferred age that is different but there probably will be a limit to what you can choose. Setting up a later date will allow the account to remain open longer and accumulate more money.

Wait until the minor reaches the age on the account. When that happens, the custodian transfers it to the owner who will have full access to the funds. There cannot be any restrictions on the money.

Tips & Warnings

  • The funds in the UGMA account must be included on the minor's tax forms. Children who are 14 years of age or older must sign their own tax documents.

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