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 age of majority in Nebraska is 19. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-2101; Neb Rev. Stat. §
43.245. In Klapa v. Shrauger, 281 N.W. 612, 616 (Neb. 1938), the court held that a deed of an infant was voidable
only and that title passes by it and remains in the grantee until some clear act of
disaffirmance is done by the infant after reaching the age of majority. Also, in Uecker v. Koehn, 32 N.W. 583 (Neb. 1887), the court held that a mortgage made by an infant, like other
executed contracts of an infant, is valid until some act is done by him to avoid it.
2. If so, are there any property restrictions as to age of the minor or the types
of property that can be held.
No restrictions as to age or property type were found. However, Neb. Rev. Stat. §
30-2603 states that anyone under a duty to pay or deliver money or personal property
(not exceeding $10,000 per annum) to a minor may perform this duty by delivering such
money or property to (1) the minor, after he or she has reached age 18;1/ (2) any
person having the care and custody of the minor with whom the minor resides; (3) a
guardian of the minor; and (4) a federally insured financial institution where a savings
account in the sole name of the minor is located with requisite notice to the minor.
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.
In addition, we believe that Anthony Randall's 1993 legal opinion continues to accurately
reflect State law.
1/ This is not an error. Although Nebraska defines the age of majority as age 19,
a person may marry at age 17 and may vote at age 18. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 32-930; Neb.
Rev. Stat. § 42-102. In addition, while minority ends when a person under the age
of 19 marries, marriage of a juvenile under the age of 19 who is committed to a state
institution does not make the juvenile the age of majority. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-289;
Neb. Rev. Stat. § 43-2101.