The Florida Uniform Transfer to Minors Act (FUTMA)
The Florida Uniform Transfer to Minors Act (FUTMA) provides a safe and efficient way to transfer property and assets to a minor. FUTMA allows for the transfer of real or personal property to a minor without having to create a trust or without court intervention in many circumstances. In some cases, FUTMA can be utilized in lieu of guardianship of the property of a minor. The law allows a designated custodian to manage the minor’s assets until they reach the age of majority. Under FUTMA, the default age of majority is 21, but custodial accounts can be created to extend termination to the age of 25. The custodian is responsible for maintaining records, filing tax returns, and investing the minor’s assets in a prudent manner. A custodian may use custodial assets for the minor’s care and benefit.
Custodial accounts may be created by any person on behalf of a minor, but they are most commonly created by parents or other family members. Additionally, custodial accounts may be created for a minor beneficiary of an estate by the personal representative. This is especially beneficial in estates involving minor beneficiaries that are intestate (where a decedent dies without a will) or where a decedent’s will does not provide for any trusts for minor beneficiaries.
FUTMA provides some protection for the minor’s assets. Any income generated from the assets is taxed at the minor’s rate, and the custodian must file an annual report with the Florida Department of Revenue. This report allows the state to track the assets and ensure that they are being managed properly. FUTMA provides assurance that the assets will be managed in accordance with the wishes of the transferor, while also protecting the minor’s interests. It also helps to avoid any potential disputes between family members over a minor’s assets.
The Elder Law Center of Kirson & Fuller can provide legal advice and guide you through estate administrations and guardianships for minors and advise when and if custodial accounts under FUTMA may be appropriate.
Christian Fahrig, Esq. of The Elder Law Center of Kirson & Fuller