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Either (1) a bank, agent, trust company, or other organization responsible for safeguarding financial assets, or (2) the individual who oversees the mutual fund assets of a minor's custodial account.


A brokerage or other financial institution that holds and manages a client's securities or other assets on his/her behalf. This reduces the risk of the client losing his/her assets or having them stolen. They are also available to the brokerage to sell at the client's demand. Like a bank, a custodian provides an investor a place to store assets with little risk. Brokerages normally require a fee for custodial services. See also: Safekeeping.


An organization, typically a commercial bank, that holds in custody and safekeeping someone else's assets. These assets may be cash, securities, or virtually anything of value.


A custodian is legally responsible for ensuring that an item or person is safe and secure. In investment terms, a custodian is the financial services company that maintains electronic records of financial assets or has physical possession of specific securities.

The custodian's client may be another institution, such as a mutual fund, a corporation, or an individual. For example, with an individual retirement account (IRA), the custodian is the bank, brokerage firm, or other financial services company that holds your account.

Similarly, the Depository Trust Company, a subsidiary of the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (DTCC), is the custodian of millions of stock certificates held in its vaults.

References in periodicals archive ?
21 or earlier death, except that for custodial property created by a transfer from a person other than a donor custodianship ends on the minor's attaining the age of 18 and requesting the property (or earlier death).
However, for a transfer by irrevocable lifetime gift, the custodianship can be extended to an age not later than the age of 21 (or earlier death); for a transfer by irrevocable exercise of a power of appointment, for a transfer authorized in a will or trust, or for a future transfer pursuant to a revocable nomination of custodian, the custodianship can be extended to an age not later than the age of 25 (or earlier death).
This factor, as well as the fact that no trust agreement is required, makes the custodianship perhaps the least expensive and administratively the simplest method of transferring property to a minor.