Leaving Money to Minors and Avoiding Guardianship Proceedings in Illinois

Posted over 5 years ago. Applies to Illinois, 6 helpful votes



Open a Uniform Gifts to Minors Account at a reputable financial institution or bank

Most states allow for these types of accounts which allow adults to protect the interests of a minor by placing some restrictions on the use and management of the account and then making the proceeds in the account available to the minor once they reach adulthood. In Illinois, a minor is considered an adult at age 21.


List the financial institution "as custodian for" your minor child or beneficiary on the account "under the Illinois UTMA."

You can open the account or any trustees, executor, guardian and other fiduciaries can also open a custodial account for the benefit of the minor. The account should be titled in the custodian's name "as custodian for" your minor beneficiary, "under the Illinois Uniform Transfer to Minors Act". (Your bank should be able to assist you with the appropriate language). If the gift is one that will not occur until after death, the custodian can be anyone named in the final Will or trust of the person making the gift. If no one has been designated the custodian in a written instrument, the representative of the deceased person making the gift can name a custodian. This custodian can be an adult member of the child's family, a trust company or the party making the transfer (such as a trustee of a trust).


As long as there is a reliable custodian in place, a guardianship should be unnecessary

Gifts of $50,000.00 or more may trigger the need for a guardianship of the minor's estate, if no custodian or fiduciary is in place or able to manage the gift. With a financial institution this is seldom a problem but could be an issue if the custodian is a wayward adult relative.


But you can't take it back!

Once the gift is made into the custodial account, you cannot take the money back. This is true no matter what the nature of the gift (money, land, stock certificates, etc.) Any money given as a gift however can be used to assist in the support of the minor provided the custodian keeps records of their expenditures and keeps the money or other proceeds separate and distinct in a separate account different from his own, The child is entitled to the entire account at age 21.

Additional Resources

1.Illinois Uniform Transfers to Minors Act. (760 ILCS 20/1-24) 2. Your attorney

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