You requested a legal opinion from each Regional Chief Counsel addressing specific
issues raised by the Associate Commissioner of the Office of Program Benefits (OPB)
related to the purchase of property by minors and by representative payees on behalf
of minors. Below is Region VII's response to the specific issues raised. In response
to the April 21, 1999 video conference call, we have revised our January 12, 1999
legal opinion to remove any reference to the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act.
1. Does the State permit a minor to hold title to real property or personal property
such as an automobile?
The period of minority ends in Kansas at age 18. Kan. Ann. Stat. § 38-101. As a matter
of law, a minor may own real property, the same as any other person. He or she may
obtain it by inheritance, by gift, or by purchase, and there is nothing in the law
that would prevent even a parent from giving real property to his or her minor child.
Wheeler v. St. Joseph & W. R. Co, 3 P. 297, 300 (Kansas 1884). Because there is no statutory or common law bar to
minors owning any items of personal property, and because a minor can own real property,
it is presumed that a minor can own personal property, including an automobile.
2. If so, are there any property restrictions as to age of the minor or the types
of property that can be held.
No restriction as to age or property was found.
3. Are there any specific requirements on how the property should or must be held
to show the minor as the titleholder?
No such requirements were found.
4. If a State does not permit a minor to hold title to property, or does not permit
the property to be titled or registered in the minor's name, what is the preferred
method(s) of titling the property to reflect or protect the minor's interest in the
property and satisfy SSA's regulatory requirements.