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.
Under Ohio law, if a minor who is a resident of Coshocton County is settling a claim, the application is made to the Coshocton County Probate Court for approval of the settlement and authorization to enter into a release on behalf of the minor. When the settlement is approved by the Coshocton County Probate Court, the terms of the settlement are binding upon the minor.
When the amount received by the minor is $25,000 or less, the money can be deposited in a restricted account for the benefit of the child. The funds cannot be withdrawn without prior approval of the court.
If a settlement is over $25,000.00, a guardian of the estate of the minor must be appointed by the court to approve the settlement and oversee the proceeds. The child’s parents may be guardians of the estate, or another suitable person may be appointed.
In all cases, regardless of the amount of settlement, the parents of the minor must both consent to settlement of any claim for a minor’s injury. The non-custodial parent or parents shall be entitled to seven days’ notice of the application to settle the minor’s claim.
The Court requires several documents to be filed in minor settlement cases. Those documents assist the Court in determining whether a proposed settlement is in the best interest of the child. The application shall be accompanied by a current statement of an examining physician in respect to the injuries sustained, the extent of recovery, and the permanency of any injuries. The application shall state what additional consideration, if any, is being paid to persons other than the minor as a result of the incident causing the injury to the minor. The application shall state what arrangement, if any, has been made with respect to counsel fees. Counsel fees are subject to approval by the court.
The injured minor and the applicant shall be present at the hearing.
Forms (not necessarily all-encompassing):
- 22.0 Application to Settle a Minor’s Claim
- 22.1 Waiver and Consent to Settle Minor’s Claim
- Applicant Consent
- OHLEG Release Form
- Background Authorization form
- 22.2 Entry Approving Settlement of a Minor’s Claim
- 22.4 Report of Distribution and Entry Minor’s Claim
- 22.3 Verification of Receipt and Deposit
- 15.6 Application for Release Funds to Guardian
- Receipt for Release of Funds
- 15.7 Application for Authority to Expend Funds