When a child under the age of eighteen receives money or other property of value - such as an inheritance from an estate, proceeds from a life insurance policy, a settlement of a personal injury claim, or a wrongful death settlement - the probate court must approve the settlement of the minor's claim or right to receive the property.
Where the amount approved by the Court and received by the minor is $25,000 or less, the money can be simply deposited in a restricted account for the benefit of the child. The funds cannot be withdrawn without prior approval of the court.
Where the amount approved by the Court and received by the minor is greater than $25,000, then a guardian of the estate of the minor must be appointed by the court. The child's parents may be guardians of the minor's estate, or another suitable person may be appointed.
In all cases, regardless of the amount of settlement, both parents of the minor must have the opportunity to be heard before the Court will approve a settlement of any claim for a minor's injury.