Uniform Gifts/Transfers to Minors Accounts
Uniform Gift to Minors Accounts (UGMAs) and Uniform Transfer to Minors Accounts (UTMAs) allow you to invest under a child's name with an adult as custodian. The accounts offer tax benefits and the flexibility to use funds for educational or noneducational expenses.
Any adult can invest in an UGMA or UTMA on behalf of a minor. For the most part, any adult can also be the custodian of the account, although some states require the parent or legal guardian to fill this role.
- There is no contribution limit. Any amount of money can be invested.
- Earnings are taxable, but up to a certain amount may be tax-free or assessed at the minor’s tax rate.
- Withdrawals can be used for almost any expense in addition to college costs as long as it is used for the benefit of the minor.
Things to consider
- Once the minor reaches the age at which custodianship ends (usually age 18–21 but varies by state), the minor can take control of the account.
- UGMA and UTMA accounts are considered assets of the minor. If the student is applying for need-based financial aid, having an UGMA or UTMA may affect the aid received.