By: Thomas Law Group On: April 24, 2023 In: Estate Planning Comments: 0

Do you or someone you know have a custodial account, such as a 529 (Blackrock, College Advantage, etc.), custodial bank account (checking or savings), a Uniform Transfer to Minors Act account, or other account, set up for the benefit of minor children or grandchildren? These accounts may be subject to probate court intervention if you die and the account does not name a successor custodian or designated an heir.  Under Ohio law, a minor child or grandchild may be unable to access and/or manage such an account until they reach the age of eighteen (18) or twenty-one (21), or in some cases, are never able to manage the account on their own.

These types of accounts that are for the benefit of a minor child or grandchild (or some other person), require a person to act as the custodian of the account, and the custodian manages the assets held in the account until the minor child or grandchild is old enough to access or manage the account themselves. The custodian also makes determinations as the minor child or grandchild becomes of age, of what the assets can be used for. Prior to such custodian’s death, the custodian should ensure there is a successor custodian named, so that another eligible person can step in and manage the account upon the death of the custodian. This person could be the custodian’s spouse, the minor child (once the age of majority) or grandchild’s parent, or some other person the custodian trusts to make decisions regarding the account after their death.

If a custodial account does not have a successor custodian, the account will likely require filing with the probate court to obtain authority to name a successor custodian. The attorneys at Thomas Law Group address these types of accounts as part of the estate planning and probate avoidance planning process and can assist you with properly designating a successor custodian on any type of custodial accounts or other accounts set up for the benefit of minor children or grandchildren.