Settlements and Judgments Involving Minors and Legally Incapacitated Individuals
The Michigan Supreme Court requires the use of MC 95,*Request for Approval of Bond and Notice Settlement/Judgment/Wrongful Death Settlement (MC95) where either (1) in a wrongful death claim where a minor or legally incapacitated individual are to receive distributions in excess of $5,000 or (2) in all settlements and judgments when the plaintiff is a minor or legally incapacitated individual and the value of the settlement or judgment to the minor or legally incapacitated individual is more than $5,000. A procedure has also been established for settlements or judgments which provide for the creation of a trust for a minor and legally incapacitated individual.
Important Note #1: For a settlement for a minor, a conservator must be appointed if the minor is to receive either (1) more than $5,000 payable immediately or (2) in installments of over $5,000 in any single year during minority. The judgment or dismissal must provide that payment be made to the conservator on behalf of the minor.
Important Note #2: If a conservator has been appointed, any proposed settlement or judgment must be reviewed by the probate court, even if the amount to be paid is less than $5,000. If the settlement is less than $5,000, and a conservator has been appointed, all of the proceeds must be paid to the conservator.
For a detailed overview of these settlement procedures, including the creation of a trust as part of a settlement or judgment, seeProbate Settlements & Judgments: Amended MCR 2.420 Changes the Process for Minors and Legally Incapacitated Individuals written by Wayne County Probate Court Chief Judge Milton L. Mack, Jr. and reprinted with permission from the August 2003 issue of the Michigan Bar Journal. Also, for a detailed overview of wrongful death and settlements, see (opens in new window)*Wrongful Death Settlements written by Attorney Howard T. Linden and reprinted with permission from the January 2006 issue of the Michigan Bar Journal.
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