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Minor's compromise

The law says money received on behalf of a child must be handled in a special way.

Click on a topic to learn more:

  1. What is a Minor’s Compromise?
  2. Is an Incompetent Person’s Compromise the same as a minor’s compromise?
  3. What if my child is injured and receives a settlement?
  4. Can either parent sign a settlement agreement on behalf of the child?
  5. What if the child has a legal guardian of the estate?
  6. Forms for Petition for Minor's Compromise
  7. What do I do with the Court forms?
  8. Where can I read more on the laws for a Minor’s Compromise?
  1. What is a Minor’s Compromise?

    A Minor's Compromise is when an adult signs on behalf of a child so the child can receive money. The law doesn’t allow the child to sign for him or herself until s/he becomes an adult.

  2. Is the process for an Incompetent Person’s Compromise the same as a Minor’s Compromise?

    Basically, yes. An Incompetent Person’s Compromise, is when another adult, who is appointed by the court, signs and receives money on behalf of the incompetent person. (An incompetent person is an adult who is unable to make decisions for him or herself.)

  3. What if my child is injured and receives a settlement?

    Under the law, a minor child cannot sign a contract or other legally binding agreement. But if your child has a claim for injuries caused by an accident, then you or the child’s guardian of the estate, can sign a settlement agreement on behalf of the child.

  4. Can either parent sign a settlement agreement on behalf of the child?

    Yes, if you both parents live with the child. If not, only the custodial parent or legal guardian can sign.

  5. What if the child has a legal guardian of the estate?

    The guardian, conservator, or the guardian ad litem can petition the court to transfer the funds using one of these methods:

    • To an insured account in a financial institution or into a single premium deferred annuity, subject to withdrawal only on court order;
    • To a custodian under the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act;
    • To the trustee of a trust that the minor can revoke when the minor turns 18;
    • To the trustee of a special needs trust for the benefit of the minor as described in Probate Code Section 3604. (This type of special needs trust is only for minors who receive public benefits because of disability and high medical expense. When the trustee dies, the trust must reimburse the state for the state’s expenses for the individual's medical costs, up to the full amount left in the trust at the time of the trustee’s death.)

    If there is no guardianship of the estate, the court that makes the order for settlement of the child's claim can make an order to do any of the following:

    • Establish a guardianship of the estate and transfer the funds to a guardian;
    • Transfer the funds to the county treasurer for deposit under specified conditions;
    • Deposit of the funds into an insured account in a financial institution, subject to withdrawal only on court order;
    • Purchase of a single-premium deferred annuity, subject to withdrawal only on court order;
    • Transfer to the trustee of a special needs trust as described in Probate Code Section 3604;
    • Transfer to a custodian under the California Uniform Transfers to Minor Act;
    • Transfer to the trustee of a trust that the minor can revoke when the minor attains age 18.

    If the settlement is $20,000 or less, the court will make whatever order is in the best interests of the child If the settlement is $5,000 or less, the court will order a transfer of funds to the parent of the child, in trust for the child

  6. Forms for Petition for Minor's Compromise

    • MC-350 Petition to Approve Compromise of Claim
    • MC-350EX Petition for Expedited Approval of Compromise of Claim
    • CIV-010 Application and Order for Appointing Guardian Ad Litem
    • MC-351 Order Approving Compromise of Claim
    • MC-355 Order to Deposit Money Into Blocked Account
    • MC-356 Receipt and Acknowledgment of Order for the Deposit of Money Into Blocked Account
  7. What do I do with the Court forms?

    Step 1 Fill out the following forms. Attorneys are required to electronically file their documents. Parties without an attorney can submit their documents over the counter to the Probate Clerk’s office at the Downtown Superior Court (DTS) in San Jose

    Unless you have an Order that waives a medical report, attach a current medical report prepared within four weeks of the date of petition. See Local Rule 13B. There is no form for the Order to waive medical report. You must type this order on pleading paper. Submit your proposed order waiving the medical report, along with your petition, for the judge to sign.

    Step 2

    Pay the filing fee. (If you have a civil case, there is no fee.) If submitted electronically, the fee can be paid at the time you submit your petition online. Information on fees related to a Petition to Approve Compromise of Claim can be found on the local fee schedule , under the Probate fees section.

    Step 3

    Hearings on Minor’s Compromise Petitions filed under Probate Code Section 3500 will be heard on Wednesdays and Thursdays by the Probate Judges at 1:35 p.m. at the Downtown Superior Court.

    Hearings on Minor’s Compromise Petitions with an underlying Civil case number will be heard on Tuesdays and Thursdays by the Civil case management Judges at 9:00 a.m. at the Downtown Superior Court.

    Once the documents are filed, the Clerk of the Court will set the hearing on the next available calendar date.

    Step 4

    If the judge approves your petition, the clerk will file the orders, MC-351 and MC-355.

    Step 5

    Take a certified copy of the Order MC-355 to the bank along with form MC-356. The bank clerk must sign the Receipt (MC-356). Then, you file the receipt with the probate clerk. Your receipt should be submitted with an endorsed copy of the order (MC-355) attached to it as indicated in #1 of form MC-356.

     

  8. Where can I read more on the laws for a minor’s compromise?

    Read Probate Code Section 3600 and the following sections.
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