My father-in-law ‘parks’ money in my wife’s custodial account

Dear Moneyologist,

My 37-year-old wife of two years comes from a somewhat well-to-do family where the parents have remained involved in many aspects of her financial life well into her adulthood. Until we got married, my father-in-law did my wife’s taxes for her, and my wife has always been content to remain blissfully unaware of any part of this process other than signing her return every year. Since we’ve been married, however, I have taken over management of our family’s tax preparation and something this year has raised a red flag.

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This year, as tax statements have begun to arrive in the mail from financial firms, my father-in-law gave me a 1099 from a broker with whom he apparently still has an UGMA (Uniform Gift to Minors Act) account for my wife.

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