So exactly who receives the money when a minor settles a car accident case in Baltimore? Baltimore auto accident lawyer Marc Atas explains below.
Who does the money go to, once a car accident claim or a personal injury claim is settled on behalf of a child under 18? Every Baltimore auto accident lawyer has represented parents who assume the money belongs to the child.
Every Baltimore auto accident lawyer has represented parents who assume the money belongs to the parent. The answer depends not on how much the case is settled for, but on how much money the child will net after payment of attorney fees and expenses as well as medical expenses.
If the net amount left from the settlement after payment of attorney fees and medical expenses is less than $5000.00 than the net check written by the Baltimore auto accident lawyer will be made payable to the parent of the child and the parent can then do as they please with the funds.
If the net amount left from the settlement after payment of attorney fees and medical expenses is $5000.00 or more than the net check written by the Baltimore auto accident lawyer will be made payable to a trustee usually the parent who will then have to deposit the check in a bank account and the child will receive all of the funds when the child turns 18. In limited circumstances discussed below, the parents may ask the Baltimore auto accident lawyer to petition the court for some of the funds in order to pay new medical expenses or for educational purposes.
Md. ESTATES AND TRUSTS Code Ann. § 13-401 (2017)
- 13-401. Definitions(a) In general. — In this subtitle the following words have the meanings indicated.(b) Minor. — “Minor” means any person under 18 years of age (1) who actually resided in the State at the time of the happening of the occurrence out of which the claim, action, or judgment arises, or (2) who actually resides in the State at the time money is paid to him or to any person acting for him because of a claim, action, or judgment in tort.(c) Net sum. — “Net sum” means the net amount due the minor or to any person acting for him after the deduction of the fee of the attorney and expenses. If the minor is not represented by an attorney, it means the amount due to the minor or to any person acting for him, by or on behalf of any person liable.(d) The person responsible for the payment of the money. — “The person responsible for the payment of the money” means:(1) The attorney, if the minor or any person acting for him is represented by an attorney; or(2) Any defendant, insurer, or the State under the provisions of the unsatisfied Claim and Judgment Fund Law, if the minor or any person acting for him is not represented by an attorney.
Md. ESTATES AND TRUSTS Code Ann. § 13-402 (2017)
- 13-402. Statement of policy-It is public policy of the State that any substantial sum of money paid to a minor because of a claim, action, or judgment in tort should be preserved for the benefit of the minor.
Md. ESTATES AND TRUSTS Code Ann. § 13-403 (2017)
- 13-403. Appointment of trustee or guardian for minor(a) Payment by check to trustee — In general. — Unless a court appoints a guardian of the property of a minor under subsection
(c) of this section, if a minor or any other person in whose name a claim in
tort is made or judgment in tort obtained on behalf of a minor recovers a net
sum of $ 5,000 or more, the person responsible for the payment of the money
shall make payment by check made to the order of
“…………………………….., trustee under Title 13 of
(name of trustee)the Estates and Trusts Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, for
(name of minor)(b) Payment by check to trustee — No other act necessary. — No other act is necessary to constitute the person named a trustee.(c) Appointment of guardian — In general. –(1) In accordance with the procedures for the appointment of a guardian under Subtitle 2 of this title, the court may appoint a guardian of the property of a minor on whose behalf a recovery in tort is sought or has been obtained if the court determines that the appointment would be in the minor’s best interest.(2) The petition for guardianship may be made by an interested person or a trustee under this subtitle.(d) Appointment of guardian — Payment by check. — If a court appoints a guardian of the property of a minor under subsection (c)
of this section and the minor or any other person in whose name a claim in
tort is made or judgment in tort obtained on behalf of the minor recovers a
net sum of $ 5,000 or more, the person responsible for the payment of the
money shall make payment by check made to the order of
“…………………………, (name of guardian), guardian under Title 13,
Subtitle 2 of the Estates and Trusts Article, Annotated Code of Maryland, for
…………………… (name of minor), minor”.
Md. ESTATES AND TRUSTS Code Ann. § 13-404 (2017)
- 13-404. Bond not required; deposit or investment of proceeds of appointing check(a) Bond. — The trustee need not give bond.(b) Deposit or investment of proceeds of appointing check. –(1) A trustee who receives a check under § 13-403 of this subtitle shall:(i) Subject to paragraph (3) of this subsection, deposit the check in any financial institution as defined in § 13-301 of this title; or(ii) Invest or reinvest the proceeds of the check, directly or by securities or other interests of a broker or dealer, in:1. General obligations of or obligations guaranteed by the United States or this State;2. Other obligations of the United States or this State or of its political subdivisions, agencies, authorities, or municipal corporations that are rated in one of the two highest rating categories by a nationally recognized credit rating agency; or3. Any open end management investment company or investment trust that is registered under the federal Investment Company Act of 1940, 15 U.S.C. § 80a-1 et seq., and that:A. Meets the criteria of a money market fund that are specified in the federal Investment Company Act and the regulations adopted under that law; orB. In a prospectus filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission of the federal government, states as a principal investment objective long-term growth or capital appreciation through investments in equity securities.
(2) If the trustee deposits the check in a financial institution under paragraph (1)(i) of this subsection, the trustee may direct the financial institution to invest or reinvest the proceeds of the check in a certificate of deposit or other interest bearing account.
(3) Deposits in a financial institution under paragraph (1)(i) of this subsection may not exceed the amount of insurance provided for such deposits.
(4) Investments in money market funds under paragraph (1)(ii)3A of this subsection, investments in stock mutual funds under paragraph (1)(ii)3B of this subsection, and investments in any combination of both money market funds and stock mutual funds may not exceed 30% of the trust assets at the time of investment.
Md. ESTATES AND TRUSTS Code Ann. § 13-405 (2017)
- 13-405. Court order required for withdrawal(a) Prior to age of 18. — Except upon the order of a circuit court, the financial institution specified in § 13-404(b) of this subtitle may not allow the withdrawal of any of the money except to pay it to the minor upon his attainment of the age of 18 years or to pay to the personal representative of his estate upon the death of the minor prior to his attaining the age of 18 years.(b) Discharge of liability. — Payment by any institution or association in accordance with an order of the court, or to a minor on or after his attaining the age of 18 years, or to the personal representative after the death of the minor, is a complete discharge of liability of the institution or association for the money paid.
Md. ESTATES AND TRUSTS Code Ann. § 13-406 (2017)
- 13-406. Petition to court for withdrawal(a) Where filed. — A trustee shall file a petition for withdrawal of any of the money of the minor in the original court action or in the equity court in the county where the money is on deposit.(b) Contents. — The petition shall be verified and state in detail the purposes for which the withdrawal of the money is desired. Upon receiving a petition, the court shall make any inquiry necessary before granting or denying the petition in whole or in part.(c) Use of money. — If money is desired for any purpose other than to pay for medical expenses of the minor, or to further the education of the minor, including reasonable expenditures for room and board, the court shall require a strong showing of necessity by the trustee in a hearing.(d) Death or discharge of trustee. — If the trustee dies or is discharged, a petition filed under this section shall include a prayer for the appointment of another trustee.(e) Direction to institution. — In its order upon a petition, the court may direct the institution where the funds of the minor are on deposit to make its check to the order of:(1) The trustee for the use of the minor; or(2) The person, firm, or organization which has performed or is to perform a service for or furnish goods to the minor.(f) Fee for attorney and costs. — The court also may direct payment of a reasonable fee for an attorney and the costs of the proceedings, but may not in any event direct or provide for the payment of any fees or commissions to the trustee.
Md. ESTATES AND TRUSTS Code Ann. § 13-407 (2017)
- 13-407. Trustee not required to file accounts-The trustee provided for in this subtitle need not file any accounts of his trusteeship with any court.
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