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Uniform Transfer to Minors Act (UTMA) in New York

UTMA in New York

UTMA laws in New York are designed to help protect assets left to minors.  The UTMA laws determine limits and guidelines for when minors may receive their inheritance, even when it is left in the capable hands of a custodian.  Each state has different UTMA laws.

Leaving an Inheritance to Minors

Life insurance proceeds, business assets, real estate and all other property in an estate, can all add up to a large inheritance which could be left to a minor.  A testator may make age requirements in his will which dictate the age at which a minor can receive the inheritance, or even set a percentage to be given at specific ages. Most testators will assign a custodian to be responsible for the preservation and distribution of the assets to minors.

UTMA Laws in New York

Some states have UTMA laws which allow a custodian to keep control of assets in the UTMA until age 25, but in New York the law is as follows:

Trusts law §§7-6.1 and following

  1. If custodian appointed in will or trust, custodianship ends at age 21.
  2. If custodian appointed by executor, transfers exceeding $50,000.00 must be authorized by court, and custodianship ends at age 18.

A Trust May Allows a Higher Age

In New York, a testator may establish an age older than 21 for receiving an inheritance by establishing a trust and designating a trustee to distribute assets rather than using an UTMA. Both UTMA’s and Trusts have benefits and drawbacks.

Getting Legal Help

Experienced New York Estate Planning and Trust Attorney Elga Goodman can help you understand your options when deciding how to protect your beneficiaries.  Contact us today at 973-841-5111.

Posted in: New York Estate Planning