Do I have to set up a guardianship for settlement of my child’s case?
In Mississippi, an individual is considered a minor until they are 21 years old. A guardianship is required to be set up when a minor is involved in an accident, is to receive funds due to a parent’s wrongful death, or many other circumstances when a lawsuit is going to be filed or a case is going to be settled and the minor will receive funds.
The purpose of the guardianship is to protect the minor’s funds from others until they turn 21 and can decide how they want to use their money. Many times a parent is appointed as the guardian and the funds are put into a secure bank account, which can only be accessed by the guardian with a court order. I have parents ask me all the time what type of things can they use these funds for and the answers vary from judge to judge. There are not really any set rules or items for which you can use the funds and it is up to the discretion of the individual judge assigned to the guardianship. However, most judges want the money to be saved for the minor’s college education and for the minor after he/she turns 21. Some judge’s will allow for the funds to be used for a car for the minor when he turns 16, although I have had judge’s not even approve this expense before and some judge’s will only approve that expense if the minor has a part-time job. I generally tell guardians that they cannot use the funds for things they should be providing for their child anyway (such as rent, food, clothing, school supplies, etc).
If you need assistance with any type of guardianship or any other family matter, contact the Teresa E. Harvey by calling 601-948-8005 or by going to our live chat on our website.