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Will a bankruptcy trustee take my minor childs settlement money from a personal injury case during my ch 7 bankruptcy?

Evansville, IN |

I've been saving up for months to file a ch 7. I have not filed yet. Last Saturday my son slipped on some ice at the mall and broke 3 bones. Will the trustee take my childs settlement money?

Attorney Answers 7

  1. No. The funds belong to your minor child.

  2. If there is a cause of action, it is your son's not yours. Therefore if there is any recovery it would go to your son. The trustee cannot take a non debtor's money.

  3. Your child's money belongs to your child.

    Benjamin Andrews is licensed to practice in Virginia only. The preceding is for information only and should not be construed as legal advice. Always call a lawyer directly for advice.

  4. As the attorneys stated NO. But, make sure you keep his funds separate from yours so there is no commingling of funds! A trustee in bankruptcy steps legally into your shoes only..and only owns what you own, subject to your exemptions. The sons assets are the sons including that claim. But keep it separate in a good interest bearing account and depending on the amount, you might want to see a financial planner. Have a great day and I hope all of the attorneys answers together now reduce that stress on you. However, any attorney if you met with would have already told you I am assuming you have NOT seen one. Do see one, even if trying to do yourself there are other issues that can harm you. So see an experienced bankruptcy attorney who has practiced for a number of years ! Good luck !

  5. No, as it is your son's money and not yours.

  6. As parent you may be obligated to pay the medical bills and the trustee in bankruptcy might claim that portion of the injury claim. As parent you might be entitled to the earnings of an unemancipated minor child. The trustee might want that portion of the claim. These questions vary state by state. You need to allocate any settlement or judgment to the item of damage being compensated and you should identify this as part of settlement approval by the court when getting the court approval of the minors settlement. The pain and suffering claim and disability should be the property of your son. It might be a good idea to set up a conservatorship for your son to hold any proceeds and perhaps manage the litigation. Depends on size of claim and cost-benefit analysis.

  7. I am so sorry to hear that your son slipped on ice at a mall and was seriously injured. My esteemed colleagues have answered your questions regarding the effect of bankruptcy on his personal injury settlement. You didn't mention whether you have consulted with a personal injury attorney regarding your potential action on behalf of your son against the mall. If you haven't done so, I would strongly encourage to do so in order to maximize what your son can obtain. Claims for slip and falls on ice in Indiana are not cut and dried. Depending on his age, attempts may be made to obtain his statement by representatives of the mail or their insurers. You should not allow this or make any statement yourself without first consulting with a personal injury attorney. Most offer free initial consultations. Indiana is a comparative fault state and the mall's insurance carrier is not on your son's side. It will try to find a way to apportion as much fault as possible to him in order to either minimize or deny his claim.

    Merry Fountain is licensed to practice law in Indiana. She can be contacted at 1-888-242-HURT. This is not legal advice and it does not create an attorney/client relationship. It is legal education intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. If the question does not include important timeframes and facts the answer could change. Merry Fountain strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in your state.

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