If your minor child has received a settlement or jury verdict of more than 15-thousand dollars… Florida law says you must open a guardianship. As a parent, you are already your child’s guardian, but for purposes of the award or settlement, you will become a “court appointed” guardian of the assets. That means the money will be placed into a depository… And you won’t be able to gain access to it unless you have a court order. So what happens when the child turns 18? Well, by law, they get the money. But estate planning attorney Rebecca Doane says most 18- year-olds probably can’t handle that large sum of money, so transitioning the guardianship to a trust may be your best bet.
“But you have to do that with court approval, so you actually have to go to the judge ask the judge have the child appear before the judge as well as the proposed trustee and give the judge a copy of the proposed trust and then petition to have the assets of the guardianship taken out of the guardianship and placed into a trust to extend the protection of the child.”
If you have a minor child who has received a significant award or settlement… Call Doane and Doane attorneys or visit DoaneandDoane.com.