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Title to minors' securities

Previously you noted that "if a parent is the custodian for an investment under the Uniform Gifts to Minors Acts and dies before the child reaches majority, the amount of the gift will be included in the custodian's estate." What happens if a father, acting as custodian, dies after the donee has reached majority, but the registration on the certificates was never changed? Would the stocks then be included in the father's estate? Do different states use different rules? A. H.

Once a minor attains his or her majority, the securities managed by the custodian automatically belong to the donee whether the registration on the certificates is changed or not. Thus, the securities you mention would not be included within the father's estate if the son, in your case, was no longer a minor. The only difference between the states in this case is the age of majority. Some states recognize 18 and others recognize 21 as the year of majority. Additional affidavits and paper work are necessary to assert the ownership at majority, and I recommend that registration be changed on certificates when a minor becomes an adult.

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