A UGMA/UTMA account provides a way for an adult to transfer assets to a minor. These acts, which most states have established, prevent families from having to hire an attorney to draw up a special trust in order for a minor to own securities. While not specifically designed as college savings accounts, they are used for this purpose because the assets belong to the minor when he reaches the age of majority in his state. He then may use those assets to pay college expenses.
||Custodian before child reaches age of majority; the child takes control after reaching age of majority.
|Permissible Use of Funds
- Custodian Any reasonable expense for the child.
- Child 18 or older Any expense, college or non-college related.
|Income Tax Treatment
||For children under age 18:
- First $950 of unearned income is tax-exempt.
- Next $950 is taxed at the child's rate.
- More than $1,900 taxed at the parent's rate.
|Estate and Gift Tax Advantages
||Contributions qualify for the $14,000 ($28,000 for married couples) gift tax exclusion.
|Tax Credit Affected
|Penalties Limiting Flexibility
||Money can be used at any time for the benefit of the child without penalty.
|Financial Aid Treatment
||Student's assets; may affect amount of financial aid received.