Forum Rules (Everyone Must Read!!!) (updated: 04/28/2015)

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How to Make Kids' Savings "SAFE"

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  • How to Make Kids' Savings "SAFE"

    Hello, justbroke and any others who have advice, please!

    As I have posted here before, we have our kids' savings accounts set up in our names. In order for us to be able to file Chapter 7, we were required to spend their money. This was everything they've ever saved up, from the time they were born.

    Now we are ready to start slowly paying them back. I need to know what is the proper way for us to have their accounts set up, so that if we were to have financial difficulty in the future -- this won't happen again.

    I don't want them to just be able to take it out whenever they want, and go blow it. We've worked too hard to put 1/2 of every Christmas and birthday away for them all these years, so that they wouldn't be "starting out" in life with nothing at all... like their parents. That's why we have had the money in our names. Clearly, that turned out to be a poor choice.

    Is there even a way for us to be able to access their savings when they need it (for example, at 16 if they want to put some toward a car)... but without these accounts being viewed as "our money" again?

  • #2
    You can open custodianship accounts. Google "(your state) uniform transfer to minors act" for information. Keep in mind that money you transfer to an UTMA account may not be 100 percent safe from your creditors.
    LadyInTheRed is in the black!
    Filed Chap 13 April 2010. Discharged May 2015.
    $143,000 in debt discharged for $36,500, including attorneys fees. Money well spent!


    • #3
      Thanks, Lady. What I am starting to think is that our kids' money would be better off in a fireproof safe, right along with their savings bonds they got from grandma.

      It's not our money -- it never was, it never will be... and it doesn't belong to our creditors, either. We're not in any danger of anyone coming after us right now ~ but if this entire experience has taught me anything, it's that we have no idea what is coming in the future.


      • #4
        As LITR points out, an UTMA account is pretty straightforward way to accomplish what you want. You could form a trust if you wanted, but that would likely be overkill. An UTMA account is sort of like a trust anyway, it is simply a more streamlined way to differentiate what is your and what is the kids (but you are the trustee, so to speak) of the UTMA account).

        Understand, legally, minors can't "own" anything (for the most part). Although, in a moral sense, we may say X belongs to the kids, that is not legally true.


        • #5
          Interesting perspective. My kids own their savings bonds. They are only payable to us upon their death, so they did not factor into our bk at all. Our attorney didn't include our kids' belongings on the petition -- not even their clothes & shoes. When I questioned her about how she came up with those figures, she said, "I'm not really including the kids in this."

          If someone else gives money to my child as a gift, and he decides to keep it in his pocket rather than spend it at the movies or whatever, how does that make it mine?


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