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Uniform Gifts to Minors Ac (UGMA)


The Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) is a US act that allows minors to own assets such as securities. Under UGMA, the ownership of assets is transferred to the minor without the necessity of a trustee or custodian. However, while the minor technically owns the assets, they are typically managed by a custodian until the minor reaches the age of majority.


Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA): Yoo-nuh-form Gifts tuh Miners Akt (U-G-M-A)

Key Takeaways

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  1. Establishing a UGMA: The Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) allows minors to own property such as securities. Through this act, adults can transfer assets to their children, who will gain complete control over the assets when they reach the age of majority.
  2. Financial Impact: Assets owned through UGMA are considered the child’s assets and this could possibly impact their eligibility for financial aid for college. Also, the interest, dividends, and capital gains these assets generate could be subject to tax.
  3. Age of Majority: An aspect to consider in UGMA is that once the minor reaches the age of majority, they get outright ownership of the assets and they can use the assets in any way they wish, the custodian cannot control or limit their usage.



The Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) is an important instrument in financial planning and wealth transfer, especially for minors. It permits a minor to own assets—such as securities, real estate, and fine art—without necessitating the assistance of a guardian or trustee. Beneficial for estate planning purposes, UGMA allows a donor to gift assets to a minor to help spread the generation of wealth, reduce the size of the donor’s taxable estate, and potentially reduce future tax liabilities. Furthermore, through UGMA, assets are managed efficiently until the minor becomes of age, thereby easing the process of transferring wealth while ensuring the minor’s future financial security. As such, UGMA serves as a crucial tool in financial management and estate planning.


The Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) serves an integral role in helping individuals set up savings and investment accounts to financially plan for a child’s future. The act was introduced and adopted by most states around the mid-20th century to provide a simple method for adults to transfer assets to a minor without the need for establishing a complicated and often costly trust fund. UGMA accounts allow funds to be used to financially support minors until they reach legal adulthood, which could include costs related to education, healthcare, housing, and general welfare.UGMA accounts are custodial accounts, controlled by a designated custodian until the minor reaches the age of majority. The custodian can be a parent, guardian,or any adult who wants to transfer property rights to a minor. It’s important to note that once assets are contributed to a UGMAs, they become irrevocable gifts to the minor. This means that the funds no longer belong to the custodian, they belong entirely to the minor, and any withdrawals must benefit the minor. This structure helps ensure that the resources within the account are used for their intended purpose – supporting the future financial needs of the minor.


1. College Funding: A family wants to save for their child’s future education. They set up a UGMA account and contribute funds regularly. This type of account allows the invested funds to grow tax-free, helping to pay for college expenses when the child reaches the designated age.2. Estate Planning: An elderly couple has considerable wealth they want to leave to their grandchildren without the bulk of it being diminished by taxes. They can utilize a UGMA account to transfer assets without incurring the gift tax, and it can also help to reduce the size of their taxable estate.3. Financial Gift: Parents desire to give their child a significant financial gift. Instead of providing it directly where it may be misused or wasted, they open a UGMA to ensure the funds are used for the child’s benefit, such as funding a down-payment for a house or starting a business.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA)?

The Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) is a U.S. act that allows assets such as securities, where the donor transfers money to a minor without the necessity of a qualified custodian or trustee.

Who can open an UGMA account?

An adult can open an UGMA account on behalf of a minor. This adult can be a parent, grandparent, guardian, or any other interested adult.

What types of assets can be put into an UGMA account?

Typically, cash, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other types of securities can be put into an UGMA account. It is not limited to securities and can also include any kind of property.

What is the purpose of an UGMA account?

The primary objective of an UGMA account is to transfer assets to minors without the need for a formal trust. It allows the assets to be managed until the minor reaches the age of majority.

When does an individual get access to the UGMA account?

The minor will gain full access to the UGMA account when they reach the age of majority, which varies by state – typically between 18 and 21.

What are the tax implications associated with an UGMA account?

Some parts of the minor’s investment earnings in UGMA accounts may be subject to federal income tax. This would be at the minor’s tax rate if they have sufficient other income. Consulting a tax professional for specific advice would be wise.

Can I withdraw funds from an UGMA account for any purpose?

All funds in an UGMA account must be used for the benefit of the minor. Therefore, withdrawals may face scrutiny to ensure they are used appropriately for the minor’s use.

Can I change the beneficiary of an UGMA account?

Once contributions are made to an UGMA account, they cannot be revoked. The beneficiary cannot be changed as the assets are irrevocable gifts to the minor.

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