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Court Approves Structured Settlement for a Minor That Extends Beyond the Age of Majority

The Fifth District Court of Appeals has reversed a trial court’s ruling that it could not approve a structured settlement proposal for a minor.  In Hancock v. Share (Case No. 5D10-2069) the minor’s Mother was appointed her Guardian. The Guardian petitioned the Court for approval of the proposed settlement and purchase of the structured settlement payable over twenty-seven years. The trial judge inquired whether the minor could get the money when she attained the age of majority and was advised that she could not.

The trial judge approved the settlement but denied the request to purchase the structure citing Florida Statute §744.441(19) and Guardianship of Bernstein v. Miller, 777 So.2d 1125 (Fla. 4th DCA 2001) (guardian could not establish a trust that would extend beyond the minor’s age of majority).

The appellate court ruled that no trust was being created and that the Guardian had properly submitted the annuity contract pursuant to Florida Statute § 744.441(21) which was in the best interests of the minor. The Guardian has a duty to deliver the annuity contract to the minor upon her eighteenth birthday.

Our firm handles minor guardianships and in certain situations can save the family additional expense of continuing the guardianship by having the Court approve the purchase of a structured settlement and/or college pre-paid plan.  Help your clients to make an informed decision and wise investment in their future – refer them to Stephanie a Board Certified Elder Law Attorney.

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