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A custodian is a person having charge of something. Some common uses of the term “custodian” in a legal sense include:

  • Under the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) and Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA), a “custodian” is a person named to manage property left or given to a child under the terms of either of those Acts. The custodian manages the property until the child reaches the age specified by state law - 21, in most states. 
  • In the context of bankruptcy, 11 U.S.C. Section 101(11) defines “custodian” as: 
    • receiver or trustee of any of the property of the debtor, appointed in a case or proceeding not under this title; 
    • assignee under a general assignment for the benefit of the debtor’s creditors;
    • or trustee, receiver, or agent under applicable law, or under a contract, that is appointed or authorized to take charge of property of the debtor for the purpose of enforcing a lien against such property, or for the purpose of general administration of such property for the benefit of the debtor’s creditors.

[Last updated in July of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]