SI BOS01120.205 Uniform Gifts To Minors Act (UGMA) And Uniform Transfers To Minors Act (UTMA)

A. Background

The Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) was created to provide a means by which title to property could be passed to minors by use of a custodian without the need to establish a trust or guardianship on behalf of the minor child. The nature of property which could be transferred under the UGMA was limited to securities, cash, annuities, and other forms of personal property. The UGMA directed that the minor child would possess legal ownership of the transferred property immediately, but would not possess the right to liquidate the property until reaching an age set by each State.

The Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) was introduced in 1983 as a successor to the UGMA. The UTMA expanded the nature of property which could be transferred to minors through custodianship to "any interest in property.” Various versions of the UTMA have been enacted in all New England States except Vermont.

B. Effective age for gifts under the uniform gifts to minors act (UGMA)

The age a minor acquires the right to liquidate the gift under the UGMA (and UTMA) will be referred to as the “effective date” of the gift. Currently, in some States, the effective date of the gift is not the State’s statutory age of majority. The law provides that the effective date of a gift under the UGMA will be the age a State determines to be the effective date of a transfer of gift under the UTMA. Shown below is the age a gift is effective for purposes of UGMA for each New England State.

STATE

AGE Gifts become Effective

Connecticut

21

Maine

18*

Massachusetts

21

New Hampshire

21

Rhode Island

21

Vermont

18

*In Maine, the effective age of the transfer for UGMA purposes is 18 unless the transferor has specified in writing in the transferring instrument that the transfer shall not occur until the minor attains a later age, not to exceed twenty-one.

C. C. Effective age for gifts under the UTMA

1. Connecticut

The effective age for transfers for UTMA purposes is 21 for any transfer of custodial property.

2. Maine

The effective age of the transfer for UTMA purposes is 18 for transfers by gift, exercise of a power of appointment, will or trust, unless the transferor has specified in writing in the transferring instrument that the transfer shall not occur until the minor attains a later age, not to exceed twenty-one. The UTMA effective age for transfers other than by gift, power of appointment, will or trust is set as the State's standard age of majority, which is 18.

3. Massachusetts

The effective age of the transfer for UTMA purposes is 21 for transfers by gift, exercise of a power of appointment, will or trust. The UTMA effective age for transfers other than by gift, a power of appointment, will or trust is set as the State's standard age of majority, which is 18.

4. New Hampshire

The effective age of the transfer for UTMA purposes is 21 for transfers by gift, exercise of a power of appointment, will or trust. The UTMA effective age for transfers other than by gift, a power of appointment, will or trust is set as the State's standard age of majority, which is 18.

5. Rhode Island

The effective age of the transfer for UTMA purposes is 21 for transfers by gift, exercise of a power of appointment, will or trust. The UTMA effective age for transfers other than by gift, a power of appointment, will or trust is set as the State's standard age of majority, which is 18.

6. Vermont

Vermont has not adopted the UTMA. The UGMA is still in effect in Vermont.