Brooklyn, NY asked in Estate Planning, Personal Injury, Medical Malpractice and Probate for New York

Q: Help Please, Is it normal for trustee to force me to sign documents such like auto loan, mortgage loan and etc?

I had a medical malpractice settlement money when i was a minor. My mother didn't tell me about my settlement money until i found out by a family member at 30-year-old. From what i understand is that my mother created a trust bank account when i was a minor and she is a trustee of that account. Once I turn 18 my mother would force me to sign for auto loan, mortgage loan and etc without telling me what is going on. I asked where this money coming from, she keeps saying "i don't know it coming from the court and can't tell you." I knew something is wrong but couldn't figure it out so years later a family member told me about this money that coming every month is mine money from medical malpractice. I confronted my mother about it she keeps saying there no such thing of any money and etc. I went to get a copy from court and found out there was coming every month. My mother now says well you can't get your money until mom passed away.

1 Lawyer Answer
Jonathan R. Ratchik
Jonathan R. Ratchik
  • Medical Malpractice Lawyer
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: If you had a medical malpractice lawsuit as a minor, the Court would have had to approve any settlement and would have issued an Infant Compromise Order. The Infant Compromise Order would have directed the settlement proceeds to be deposited in a bank account held jointly by an officer of the bank and your guardian, presumably your mother. Once you turned 18, the funds would have been yours once you submitted proof of your identity and age, e.g. driver's license, birth certificate, etc.

To find out where the monies were deposited, you will need to visit the courthouse in which your case was brought and speak with someone in either the clerk's office or the records department. Depending on how long age your case settled, the file may very well be in archives and have to be retrieved. Or they might be able to look it up electronically.

Peter J. Weinman agrees with this answer

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