WSVN — When he was a baby, his grandfather bought a bank CD in his name to use when he went to college. Now he’s in college, but now the bank won’t release the money his grandfather left for him. What can he do to get the money? Call Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

Ryan’s grandfather died when he was 10 years old, but he remembers him well.

Ryan McFeeters: "He was a cool guy, he was so cool. When he and my dad and my uncle got together, it was like they were kids again, just like me and my dad are now."

His grandfather was also generous, and when each grandchild was born, he bought a $2,000 bank CD for them.

Ryan McFeeters: "So we could get them when we were going to college. He had a lot of discipline. He was a good man."

When Ryan was in college, he needed the CD, now worth $5,300, to pay for his next semester’s tuition. And so he went to the bank to get it.

Ryan McFeeters: "They told me, since my grandfather passed away, I had 60 days from the day he passed away to sign a custodial successor to it, which I didn’t."

Ryan isn’t a banker, but he says this clearly makes no sense, because his sister went in to get the CD her grandfather left for her and had no problem.

Ryan McFeeters: "She literally walked into the bank, she got a check in her name and went and deposited it in her bank account within 20 minutes, I thought it was going to be easy for me, too."
The bank employees did have a solution, though, for Ryan to get his $5,300 CD.

Ryan McFeeters: "And I went to three different banks. They all told me the same thing, to hire a lawyer, so I contacted a lawyer, and it was just too expensive."

In fact, one lawyer told Ryan it might cost more than the $5,300 in the CD to straighten it out, and without that money, Ryan wasn’t able to enroll this semester in college.

Ryan McFeeters: "I was waiting for the CD so I could get back into college. It sucks. I could be in class right now."

Not in class and doesn’t have his cash. Well, Howard, can a bank block you from getting money left for you?

Ryan McFeeters: "Definitely no. If the account was in the name of Ryan and a guardian, he would need the guardian’s signature to get the money. But this was left in his name, so it’s his money to take after he turns 18. He is 21, so they have to release it, and he does not need a lawyer to get it."

We contacted Bank of America. They told us they would look into Ryan’s problem. A few days later, they called Ryan and told him things had been resolved and he could pick up the money his grandfather left him. When we asked the bank representative why he hadn’t gotten the money before, they said they couldn’t disclose that.

Ryan McFeeters: "It is very cool. I hope that everybody else’s grandfathers do something like that for them."

With his money, Ryan can now go back to school, and meanwhile, he has learned something valuable: just how important his grandfather’s gift will be.

Ryan McFeeters: "I’ll definitely do that for my kids when I have them, or when my kids have kids."

Now, if you want to set up an account for a child — or if you are as old as Howard, for a grandchild — tell the bank you want to set it up under what’s called the Florida Uniform Transfer to Minors Act. That way, when they turn 18, they can get the money without any hassle. Of course, that’s for small amounts. If it’s a large amount, you probably want to hire an attorney to set up a trust fund.

Banking on withdrawing a problem from your life? Need someone to deposit it with? Check with us. We can’t give you a CD, but we might have an ID-ah to solve your problem. (That’s bad.)

With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News

Florida Uniform Transfer to Minors Act

Reporter: Patrick Fraser at
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN
On Twitter: @helpmehoward7

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