For trust funds, set a concrete goal

My mom and I are interested in establishing a trust fund. Are there any online resources that can provide information?
– DeVawn Porter Southfield, Michigan

Going on the Net is certainly one way to obtain information on establishing a trust fund. But first establish the purpose for setting up a trust fund or custodian account.

No matter how young the child is, “establish with your child what the goal is,” says Gail Perry-Mason, vice president of investments at First of Michigan in Detroit-a division of Fahnestock in New York- whether it’s saving for a college education or to buy a new car.

There are several ways to invest money for your child’s future. Two of the most frequently used are through the Uniform Gift to Minors Act (UGMA) or the Uniform Transfer to Minors Act. A number of mutual fund companies, brokerage firms and banks can provide you with this option.

We suggest using a couple of good search engines, like Yahoo! (www.yahoo.com) or AltaVista (www.altavista.com), using key words “trust fund,” “Uniform Gift to Minors Act” or “Uniform Transfer to Minors Act.” Be warned: do as much research as you can before setting up your account.

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