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.