Asked in Estate Planning for North Carolina

Q: My mom died. She has a will. My son is 17. His inheritance is under 10k. When can he obtain the funds?

I opened a UTMA account. We live in NC.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Catherine E Bruce
Catherine E Bruce
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Chapel Hill, NC

A: Did your mother’s will either instruct or authorize her Executor to transfer your son’s inheritance to a custodian? If so, this is a transfer under NCGS 33A-5. For these UTMA accounts, the default is that the money must be transferred to the minor when he reaches 21. However, if the will expressly stated another age (either 18, 19, or 20), you will need to transfer the funds to his name when he reaches that age instead.

If your mother’s will did not mention a custodianship at all, then this was a transfer under NCGS 33A-6. This statute allows the Executor to transfer a gift to a custodian even without an express provision authorizing that in the will. If this applies, you need to transfer the funds into your son’s name when he reaches 18.

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