Settling a Child’s Accident Injury Case in Athens Georgia: Is Probate Court Really Necessary?

Does this sound like you? “The insurance company has told me that the probate court must approve my child’s settlement and that I can’t receive any of the money!”  This is actually correct: for settlements with a net amount over $15,000, the probate court must be involved.

According to Georgia law, if a child is injured and receives a settlement of over $15,000, the probate court must approve the settlement, after first receiving a Petition to Compromise a Doubtful Claim of the Minor. Conveniently, the probate court in Clarke Georgia has standardized documents for this petition that can be found here.

Furthermore, any child who is set to receive more than $15,000 from an injury settlement (net of the lawyer’s fees) must have a conservator or guardian appointed to manage the funds.

Here is another question we hear often: “Can’t I still spend the money on my child’s school tuition?” Unfortunately, very few Georgia judges allow funds to be used this way, because they assume that the child would receive standard education anyway. Generally, judges approve to have extra money reserved for a child until he or she becomes an adult. You always have the option to file a petition to gain access to the funds, although these petitions are usually not granted.

Simply put: if your child will be receiving over $15,000 after legal fees, the probate court in Athens, GA will decide how the money may be managed.

It is important to note, however, that if your case were already in litigation, these motions would be managed by the trial judge handling the injury case.