Is a computer received as a gift by my uncle while I was a minor, not really my property but my mom’s despite the fact that I’m now 18?

So my mom wants to take away a laptop that was given to me as a Christmas gift when I was a minor. I am now 18 and believe that I am entitled to ownership of the computer because my mom didn’t even buy it and she’s the one trying to take it away from me. The police, however, told me that because I received it as a minor and minors are unable to own property under state law, that I can’t be entitled to ownership of it despite now being 18. Is this true?

Asked on July 24, 2012 under Estate Planning, Florida


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of all states in this country, a gift presented to a minor is the child's gift alone to do as he or she wishes within reason. For example a firearm to a five year old should not be given to the minor to use without adult supervision yet the firearm is the minor's.

So too is the lap top that you received. It is yours under the law regardless of when you received it.

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