SI DEN01120.205 Uniform Gift to Minors Act

The Uniform Gift 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 of majority set by State statute.

The Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) was introduced as a successor to the UGMA in 1983. The UTMA expanded the nature of property which could be transferred to minors through custodianship to “any interest in property.” Versions of the UTMA have been enacted in all States of the Denver Region.

The UTMA was adopted (and the Uniform Gifts to Minors Act repealed) by Colorado on July 1, 1984; Montana on October 1, 1985; North Dakota on July 1, 1985; South Dakota on July 1, 1986; Utah on July 1, 1990; and Wyoming on May 22, 1987. Custodianships created in those States prior to those dates will continue to terminate at the age prescribed under their respective versions of the UGMA.

The UTMA divides transfers to minors into four categories: (1) transfer by gift or exercise of power of appointment, (2) transfer authorized by will or trust, (3) other transfer by fiduciary, and (4) transfer by obligor. In Colorado and South Dakota, the age at which custodial property must be transferred to the minor is the same for all four types of transfers. In Montana, North Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming, property created by transfers described in (1) and (2) above must be transferred to the minor at age 21, and property created by transfers described in (3) and (4) above must be transferred to the minor at age 18. Note that the State in which the transfer was made (not the State in which the child resides) determines which UTMA law applies. The applicable UTMA provisions of each State are summarized below.

A. Colorado

Regardless of the type of transfer by which the property was created, the custodian must transfer property to the minor or the minor's estate upon the earlier of (1) the minor attaining the age of 21, or (2) the minor's death. CRSA '' 11-59-105, 106, 107, 108, 121.

B. Montana

The custodian shall transfer custodial property to the minor or the minor's estate upon the earlier of: (1) the minor's attainment of the age of 21, with respect to custodial property transferred by gift, exercise of power of appointment, will, or trust; (2) the minor's attainment of the age of 18 with respect to other transfers by fiduciaries or transfers by obligors; or (3) the minor's death. MCA '' 72-26-604, 605, 606, 607, 803.

C. North Dakota

The custodian shall transfer custodial property to the minor or the minor's estate upon the earlier of: (1) the minor's attainment of the age of 21, with respect to custodial property transferred by gift, exercise of power of appointment, will, or trust; (2) the minor's attainment of the age of 18 with respect to other transfers by fiduciaries or transfers by obligors; or (3) the minor's death. NDCC '' 47-24.1-04, 05, 06, 07, 20.

D. South Dakota

Regardless of the type of transfer by which the property was created, the custodian shall transfer custodial property to the minor or the minor's estate upon the earlier of: (1) the minor's attainment of the age of 18 or (2) the minor's death. SDCL '' 55-10A-4, 5, 6, 7, 22.

E. Utah

The custodian shall transfer custodial property to the minor or the minor's estate upon the earlier of: (1) the minor's attainment of the age of 21, with respect to custodial property transferred by gift, exercise of power of appointment, will, or trust; (2) the minor's attainment of the age of 18 with respect to other transfers by fiduciaries or transfers by obligors; or (3) the minor's death. UCA 1953 '' 75-5a-105, 106, 107, 108, 121.

F. Wyoming

The custodian shall transfer custodial property to the minor or the minor's estate upon the earlier of: (1) the minor's attainment of the age of 21, with respect to custodial property transferred by gift, exercise of power of appointment, will, or trust; (2) the minor's attainment of the age of 18 with respect to other transfers

by fiduciaries or transfers by obligors; or (3) the minor's death. WS 1977 '' 34-13-117, 118, 119, 120, 133.


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