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When to Transfer Ownership of a Custodial Account

Before your child turns 18, you should check with your broker about the account's age of majority and termination.

Question: My son is turning 18 this year. Do I need to contact my brokerage firm to transfer ownership of his custodial accounts to him? - M.L., Villanova, Pa.

Answer: The rules vary by state and account. There are two key ages: the age of majority (often 18) and the age of termination on the account (usually 21), says John Woerth, of Vanguard. When children reach the age of majority, the account can be transferred into their name only with custodian consent. Otherwise, they can remove the custodian from the account at the age of termination. Ask your brokerage firm what ages apply to your son’s accounts and the steps you need to take at each point.

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