Nevertheless, look before you leap. For example, “uniform” is something of a misnomer when it comes to UGMA and UTMA, since state law dictates the details. For instance, some states restrict the types of assets that can be used to fund the accounts. Accordingly, competent legal counsel is a must.

One important potential drawback is the length of time the accounts remain “custodial” under the watchful eye of the adult custodians. Once the grandchild reaches the age of majority (18 to 21, again in accordance with applicable state law), the newly minted “adult” can do as they please with the account. So, will the hard-earned savings of parents and grandparents be spent on consumerism or college tuition after the funds are cut loose?

In the end, like all things legal and financial, a cost-benefit analysis is required. While you are at it, consider educating the beneficiary of the fund about the purpose of the fund while it is being funded.

Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.
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