The State of Minnesota protects minors during any settlement from injury. If a person is under the age of 18, all settlements must be court approved pursuant to the Rules of Practice-District Courts Rule 145. The rationale behind the State’s concern is children cannot be responsible for settlement money and parents may spend the funds foolishly. The solution is to allow a judge to review all settlements, determine if it fair to the child and then protect the funds in an annuity or certificate of deposit until the child reaches 18.
Insurance companies may want to “just have the parent sign the release,” but it is not an enforceable settlement under the law. All children’s cases should utilize a lawyer’s skills. Rule 145 has requirements for the class of annuities used, paragraphs in the release that are mandatory and requirements for tax consequences.