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Age of Majority and Trust Termination

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The following table shows the age at which the minor takes control of the custodial account. It depends on the minor's state of residence and whether the custodial account was created as an UGMA or an UTMA account. Each state may have additional provisions affecting the age of termination. Also, some states permit the donor or transferor to specify a different age of termination at the time the gift or transfer is made.

Note that the age of termination is not necessarily the same as the age of majority in the state. The age of majority is the age at which an individual can sign contracts (i.e., no more "defense of infancy"). The age of termination is not the same as the age of majority. In most cases the age of termination comes later. (The age of majority for signing contracts is 18 in most states, except Alabama and Nebraska, where it is 19, and Indiana, Mississippi, New York and Puerto Rico, where it is 21. For child support purposes, the age of majority is 18 in most states, 19 in Alabama, Colorado, Maryland and Nebraska, and 21 in D.C., Indiana, Mississippi, and New York, with exceptions for a later age of majority if the child is still in secondary school.) The age of termination for UGMA and UTMA accounts is listed in the following table.

Note that some states permit the transfer to occur at a later date if this is specified in the titling of the account. For example, California allows the transfer to be delayed until as late as age 25 if the trust is titled "as custodian for (Name of Minor) until age (Age for Delivery of Property to Minor)". If the trust is not titled in this manner, the age of trust termination remains age 18.

State UGMA UTMA UTMA supersedes UGMA (*)
Alabama 19 21 October 1, 1986
Alaska 18 21 January 1, 1991
Arizona 18 21 September 30, 1988
Arkansas 21 21 March 21, 1985
California 18 18 January 1, 1985
Colorado 21 21 July 1, 1984
Connecticut 21 21 October 1, 1995
Delaware 18 21 June 26, 1996
District of Columbia 18 18 March 12, 1986
Florida 18 21 October 1, 1985
Georgia 21 21 July 1, 1990
Guam 21 N/A N/A
Hawaii 18 21 July 1, 1985
Idaho 18 21 July 1, 1984
Illinois 21 21 July 1, 1986
Indiana 18 21 July 1, 1989
Iowa 21 21 July 1, 1986
Kansas 18 21 July 1, 1985
Kentucky 21 18 July 15, 1986
Louisiana 18 18 January 1, 1988
Maine 21 18 August 4, 1988
Maryland 18 21 July 1, 1989
Massachusetts 18 21 January 30, 1987
Michigan 18 18 December 29, 1999
Minnesota 18 21 January 1, 1986
Mississippi 21 21 January 1, 1995
Missouri 21 21 September 28, 1985
Montana 18 21 October 1, 1985
Nebraska 19 21 July 15, 1992
Nevada 18 18 July 1, 1985
New Hampshire 21 21 July 30, 1985
New Jersey 21 21 July 1, 1987
New Mexico 21 21 July 1, 1989
New York 18 21 July 10, 1996
North Carolina 18 21 October 1, 1987
North Dakota 18 21 July 1, 1985
Ohio 18 21 May 7, 1986
Oklahoma 21 18 November 1, 1986
Oregon 21 21 January 1, 1986
Pennsylvania 21 21 December 16, 1992
Rhode Island 21 21 July 23, 1998
South Carolina 18 N/A N/A
South Dakota 18 18 July 1, 1986
Tennessee 18 21 October 1, 1992
Texas 18 21 September 1, 1995
Utah 21 21 July 1, 1990
Vermont 18 N/A N/A
Virgin Islands 21 N/A N/A
Virginia 18 18 July 1, 1988
Washington 21 21 July 1, 1991
West Virginia 18 21 July 1, 1986
Wisconsin 18 21 April 8, 1988
Wyoming 18 21 May 22, 1987

(*) All states repealed their UGMA statutes upon enacting their UTMA statutes. Any UGMA accounts in existence before the date of the repeal are grandfathered using the original UGMA age of termination. The relevant dates when UTMA took effect for the various states are listed in this column.

Emancipation

The Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 amended section 480(d)(1)(C) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 to treat as independent any student who becomes an emancipated minor before reaching the age of majority. The specific legislative language is:

is, or was immediately prior to attaining the age of majority, an emancipated minor or in legal guardianship as determined by a court of competent jurisdiction in the individual's State of legal residence

The term "emancipation" is often used when a child reaches the age of majority or child support obligations end, but this is not the same as an "emancipated minor". An emancipated minor becomes an adult able to sign contracts before reaching the age of majority through a court order. A court order terminating child support upon the child's reaching the age of majority does not qualify, not even if it uses the word emancipation.

 

 
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