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How long can money be held in a trust account? The account is from a PI settlement.

Washington, DC |
Attorney answers 5


It depends on why the trust account was set up and the terms and conditions of settlement. Generally, before funds can be released, certain settlement agreements may have to be signed off on. Further, if the person that is entitled to the settlement is a minor child, there may be a trust requirement. More information is needed. You might want to contact an attorney to further discuss the matter.

Best of Luck!

William J. Lasko is an experienced New York, Connecticut and Washington, D. C., licensed attorney who focuses his practice primarily on employment law, personal injury and estate matters. Mr. Lasko, has been in practice for more than 23 years, represents clients throughout New York, Connecticut and Washington, D. C.. More information is available at This response is for general informational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. Additionally, this response does not create an attorney client relationship.


If you are asking about how long it will stay in your attorney's trust account before you get your money, it should stay there until it clears. If the check was out of state, the lawyer may hold it for a month so it doesn't bounce.

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No set requirement. Often there are liens and claims that must be negotiated before a final accounting can be prepared and funds distributed. This can take a long time fighting/negotiating, or just to get it worked out depending on who is involved. medicare can be very slow for example. Contact you lawyer and see them for an explanation of status and time estimate for resolution and distribution.


until all liens and subrogated interests have been resolved. sometimes that can take months unfortunately.


It varies with every case. Talk to your lawyer about the reasons for any delay. Federal law requires checks drawn on an out-of-state bank be cleared by the depositing bank within 10 business days of deposit; in-state bank checks must be cleared by 5 business days after deposit. The lawyer in a PI settlement should promptly disburse all funds which have been determined to be immediately available to disburse. That can sometimes be a trickier time frame than you realize, depending how many liens against the proceeds there may be, and in what amounts. In many cases, there are unpaid medical bills which the lawyer is obligated to pay (or negotiate down), plus liens from your health insurance carrier. If you are a medicaid or Medicare recipient, it could take 6 months or more to resolve their lien. Generally speaking, however, and in the absence of some extraordinary circumstances regarding liens or a scenario where your settlement amount is too small to cover all your liens and still leave you with a reasonable net recovery, then 14 days following receipt and deposit of the settlement funds is reasonable. But many factors can cause a delay. Call your lawyer and discuss the matter.

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