Under Florida Chapter 710 (cited as the Florida Uniform Transfers to Minors Act), a person having the right to designate the recipient of property transferable upon the occurrence of a future event may nominate a custodian to receive the property for a minor. See Florida Statute 710.104(1). In the absence of a will or under a will or trust that does not authorize transfer to a custodian, the personal representative, trustee, or other conservator may nevertheless make a transfer to a custodian without court approval unless the property exceeds $ 10,000. See Florida Statute 710.107. Any other obligor who holds property of a minor not having a guardian of the property may transfer the asset to an adult member of the minor's family or to a trust company unless the property exceeds $ 15,000 in value. See Florida Statute 710.108. A transfer under Chapter 710 saves the expense of establishing a guardianship of the property under Florida Chapter 744. However, there are disadvantages. First sometimes a guardianship of the property is necessary such as when the minor is to receive proceeds from the settlement of a claim under the Florida Wrongful Death Act. Further, under 710,116, a custodian can spend money in a custodial account without the court knowing about it if the custodian considers it advisable for the use and benefit of the minor.
Thus, you could find yourself in a situation where a divorced father of your child is a custodian of property belonging to your child, and when the child turns 18, the property is gone because the divorced father of your child spent the money (from an actual case). That would not happen with a guardianship of the property of a minor. Thus, careful consideration is necessary before setting up an account under the Florida Uniform Transfers to Minors Act; contact Cody & Linde, PLLC for more information.