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#250613 - 09/29/04 04:38 PM UTMA account not used for minor's benefit

I am in a tough situation. Years ago, my grandparents setup custodial accounts for all the grandchildren for college. The accounts specified the funds should be turned over at age 21. A few months before I turned 21, my grandparents withdrew the funds without my knowledge, and now they say that they took the money back. I thought that wasn't allowed. Charles Schwab refuses to give me any information on the account even though I am of legal age now. What can I do? How am I supposed to go to court without a statement or anything to prove the account existed? I have written a letter asking for the money or I would persue legal action, but I did not get a response. My grandparents have a lot of money, and therefore have a good lawyer. Is there a way they could be in the right for taking the money?

General Discussion
#250614 - 09/30/04 10:24 AM Re: UTMA account not used for minor's benefit
BrendaC Offline
Power Poster

Registered: 09/18/01
Posts: 6029
Loc: Sweet Home AL
I would advise obtaining legal counsel for guidance on this matter. You need a lawyer in the state where the UTMA account was maintained.
Life without Jesus is like an unsharpened pencil - it has no point.

#250615 - 09/30/04 10:44 AM Re: UTMA account not used for minor's benefit
waldensouth Offline
Power Poster

Registered: 11/07/01
Posts: 7817
Loc: FINALLY ABOVE the gnat line
If you don't have any account documentation, how do you know what kind of account it was? They could have set up any number of different types of trusts that would give them the right to do that. A totten trust could have been established which is basically their money all along - they could withdraw it at any time they please. A legal trust could have been established with clauses that gave them that right. An UTMA shouldn't provide that right. You need legal counsel and advice. We had a lawsuit such as this at a former bank - a trust had been established for the care of minor children. The trustee had a good time with their money. As soon as they were old enough, they sued the trustee. The bank had to turn over all documents and records to the children's attorney.
“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”

- Frederick Douglass

My Opinion Only.

#250616 - 09/30/04 10:54 AM Re: UTMA account not used for minor's benefit
rlcarey Offline
10K Club

Registered: 07/16/01
Posts: 52454
Loc: Galveston, TX

I have written a letter asking for the money or I would persue legal action, but I did not get a response.

My, what a loving family you live in. I wouldn't give you a dime either if you were my grandchild and had that attitude. Maybe you should focus on going out and earning your own way in life instead of looking for a handout and blaming your grandparents until you die because they deprived you of a life on easy street.

Face the true facts here - the money is theirs - not yours - and they can most likely do with it as they wish. There are a million ways this account could have been set up that gives them full revocation rights at any time. Only a fool sets up a UTMA account anyway - trust me - I have grown children.
The opinions expressed are my own, take them or leave them.

#250617 - 10/04/04 03:37 PM Re: UTMA account not used for minor's benefit
JimK Offline
100 Club

Registered: 10/25/02
Posts: 107
Loc: Alexandria, VA
The UTMA is one of many 'uniform' laws that may be adopted by each state. If I recall all 50 states have adopted the UTMA. The state law that probably will apply is the state in which the account was established; however, for my organization all are treated in accordance with VA law. Also, each state may incorporate its own variations; such as with the UCC.
If the account was a UTMA, the transfer was an irrevocable transfer to you the minor. The money was/is yours. In VA a minor has a right to demand an accounting of the funds, generally this has to be accomplished through the court.
Jim K