My 15 year old daughter received a settlement and it was put in a trust until 18. We're struggling. How can we take it out?

Asked about 1 year ago - Winston-salem, NC

I was told that we couldn't touch the money until my daughter is old enough to decide what to do with it. I'm a single mother of 4 and I have fallen way behind in bills. Is there anything that I can do to be able to get a portion of the money out so that we don't end up on the streets?

Attorney answers (8)

  1. 11

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    Answered . You have to make a motion to the court and ask the judge to modify the order. Depending on the wording in the order, you may need to get the same judge who originally entered the order. You would need to show that the money was being used for the child's benefit.

    Although a response is provided to the specific question, there may be other facts and law relevant to the issue.... more
  2. 11

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    Answered . Presumably, your daughter's attorney told you that the money is to stay in trust for her benefit. The attorney is correct. The only exception that I am aware of is if there is a special need of the child; not of the family. Good luck.

    Personal injury cases only; I'm good at it; you be the Judge! All information provided is for informational and... more
  3. 10

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    Answered . Assuming a court order established the trust (the terms of which sound rather clear and inflexible) nothing short of an order out of the same court will accomplish a revision of the terms of the trust. Be aware, however, as dire as your circumstances may be, the court will protect the right of your child to HER money.

    Because this is not a child support issue as you have tagged it, I changed the tag.

    Best wishes for an outcome you can accept, and please remember to designate a best answer.

    This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.
  4. 10

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    Answered . The court won't like you trying to spend her money despite your circumstances. Why not borrow from family or friends until you get back on your feet, instead of trying to raid her piggy bank...

  5. 9

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    Answered . Consult the attorney who handled your daughter's case.

    This is not intended to be legal advise or as legal representation. I am a California personal injury attorney .... more
  6. 9

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    Answered . The trust may sometimes invaded to provide "necessaries" for the beneficiary. This does not include you or your other three children. You will need to petition the court with very specific language. It sounds like you can't afford an attorney. Sometimes the attorney who did the original infant's compromise order will help out as a courtesy, but this is the exception, as you'd be asking the lawyer to work for free.

    Remember, the money belongs to your daughter, even after 18!

    We are Serious lawyers for the Seriously injured. I am a co-author of WEITZ ON AUTOMOBILE LITIGATION: THE NO... more
  7. 7

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    Answered . You can file a motion to withdraw some of the money. The court may or may not allow the motion, depending on how the money will be used. The court will probably not allow money to be withdrawn for general family expenses but may allow it for a specific expense for your daughter. Consult with the lawyer who settled the case to get help with this process.

  8. 2

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    Answered . That's a tough factual scenario, as the trust normally could not be used for the overall benefit of the family. Any changes to the current Order, if allowed, would likely need to be approved by the Court.

    Sorry to hear y'all are going through a tough time. One would be hard-pressed not to empathize with your plight. I truly hope things get better.


    NOTE: Although a response is provided to the specific question, there may be other facts and law relevant to the... more

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