What happens when a minor wins a settlement? Children are certainly unable to manage their own financial affairs. Depending on the severity of the circumstances they lead to a settlement, they may be unable to manage their own assets in the future, either. This means it’s up to you, the parents or guardians, to manage and distribute the funds accordingly.
Even parents and guardians—who have their child’s best interests at heart—can make financial missteps. Many parents are not used to managing large sums of money, especially when their child’s injuries or illness rack up massive medical bills and other expenses.
To avoid these issues, a minor settlement trust may be appropriate. James Bart Leonardi, LLC can help you determine whether a minor settlement trust is in your child’s best interest. We’ll also help you decide how to effectively manage the funds.
What to consider when setting up a minor settlement trust
When you meet with Bart Leonardi, he will ask questions to better understand and assess your specific circumstances. These may include:
- What is your child’s anticipated medical expenses?
- What kind of medical treatment will they need, and for how long?
- Do you need to modify your home to accommodate for the disability?
- Do you need a new vehicle to accommodate wheelchairs or other mobility equipment?
- Are you losing income to take care of your child?
- Will your child realistically be independent in adulthood? To what age do you feel is appropriate to control their settlement funds?
- What are your day-to-day expenses?
Your answers will present Bart a clear picture of what it will take to care for your child—whether that’s over the course of your lifetime, or until they’re independent adults. Settlement funds are designed to cover your child’s medical expenses, which can include special vehicles, housing accommodations, the caretaker’s lost wages and more.
Some of these decisions may require court approval, and most of them need to be made before you settle with the defendant or insurance company. These factors depend on the specific circumstances of your child’s case, so retaining legal assistance is in everyone’s best interest.
Consider your minor settlement trust options with an experienced lawyer
When your child receives a settlement, let James Bart Leonardi, LLC help your family. Our team will help you navigate your trust options, estate planning and more. We’ll help you understand the financial, legal, tax and practical ramifications of each option, so you can make an informed decision on your child’s behalf.
Don’t try to navigate minor settlement trusts on your own. Call us today for a free consultation.