Legal Question in Personal Injury in California

My ward and I were in an accident and we have settled with the insurance company. I have received my settlement after the attorneys fees were taken. My wards settlement check was made out to me and the child. I gave the attorney power of attorney to deposit this check so that he could get his fees. he has since mid July given me different stories as to what I need to do to get my wards funds. First all I needed was an account with both my name and the child's name. At that time she was out of state. Now he insists that he set up a trust account with his name on it. I was able just recently to get a savings account in my, the mother, and the child's name. Now the attorney says he must be added to this account. Does an attorney have these rights? Does he have to be on the account? Does it have to be a special account? Can't the child (15 yrs) have her money with supervision over spending?

Asked on 10/12/09, 12:53 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Melvin C. Belli The Belli Law Firm

I don�t think you have given all the information as it sounds a little fishy to me. Generally speaking the funds must be put into a blocked account until the minor reaches 18. Court approval is needed for any disbursement of these funds. She cannot spend the money with supervision.

If you are having problems opening up a bank account that maybe why the attorney wants to be on the account. I assume the settlement was under $5,000.00 otherwise court approval would have been required and there would be an order directing the deposit of the funds as well as the the appointment of a guardian ad litem ( for the purposes of the litigation only).

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Answered on 10/12/09, 1:11 pm

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