If my great grandfather left me a UTMA account but has passed away, do I need a court order of successor custodian even though I am 21?

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If my great grandfather left me a UTMA account but has passed away, do I need a court order of successor custodian even though I am 21?

I was told I needed this order. I’m looking to find a way around this because I need access to the funds to avoid homelessness and to avoid a loss of funds due to court fees. The account is set up with a bank that has made the process harder by changing their policy 1 1/2 years ago. The account was set up 25 years ago. I’m unsure as to what to do in this situation and do not know how long it will take to get a court order or how much this will cost. Is there any other way?

Asked on July 11, 2014 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Generally speaking, only the custodian of the account can make withdrawals, even if you are 21.  That is the issue here.  But if your Grandfather has passed away and there is an estate being opened, the Personal Representative of the estate can be appointed for this purpose since the account is an asset. Can that person help?  Try and see. If it has been more than 60 days since his death the appointment could have happened anyway under California law. Good luck.


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