Uniform Custodial Trust Act Law and Legal Definition

The Uniform Custodial Trust Act (UCTA), promulgated by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws in 1987, offers everyone a chance to establish a kind of trust that guarantees control of property at a time when a person becomes incapacitat-ed, and that may also be used to pass on property at death without probate. The act is designed to offer a new, very simplified custodial trust, making the benefits of trusts available to people without extensive financial assets.

A custodial trust is inexpensive to create. Fees for consultation and drafting will be minimum - and non-existent in many cases. In addition, the UCTA provides an alternative to a costly court-supervised conservator or guardian. It can be used to avoid the costs and delays of probate proceedings at death. Economies can accrue broadly with the use of custodial trusts. A custodial trust can be set up by simple language referencing the statute. No elaborate trust document is necessary. Rights and obligation are derived directly from the statute.

Any person who creates a custodial trust retains complete control over it until incapacity or death. The named trustee manages the property in the case of incapacity, but until then, control remains with the beneficiary - the creator of the trust. The beneficiary directs the management of the property, receives income and principal, and can cancel the trust at any time. Any kind of property, real or personal, tangible or intangi-ble, can be put in a custodial trust. Anybody can be made a beneficiary and any legally competent person or entity can be appointed as trustee.