Ankeny, IA asked in Banking and Juvenile Law for Iowa

Q: I live in Iowa and just turned 18. I have a minor bank acct. My dad won't sign over my money that I earned.

I was told that once I turned 18 I could get into my money. My dad is refusing to sign the paper as he's the custodial owner of the account. What can I do?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Brian Lehman
Brian Lehman

A: There are two issues here: (1) who owns the money, and (2) how do you get it. The money belongs to the child who is now an adult. "Under terms of a state's Uniform Gift to Minors Act or Uniform Transfer to Minors Act, a custodian controls these accounts while the child is a minor. But the account is considered an irrevocable gift to the child, who should get control of all the cash and investments in the account once he or she reaches a certain age, usually 18 or 21, depending on the state . . .

'You have to turn the money over to the child. It's their money,' says Stuart Ritter, senior financial planner at T. Rowe Price Group Inc."

But how do you get it? The bank has a fiduciary relationship with your father, who signed the account, and you are only the beneficiary. It is up to the fiduciary to distribute account funds at the appropriate age. So you would need to get a court order if he won't do the right thing. I'd contact an attorney.

Here is an ABA article:

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