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Are you Required to set up a Coogen Trust for your Child?

     In California, many actors begin their careers as child actors sometimes bringing in three figure salaries a year. This brings an interesting scenario where the children instead of their parents may be the primary breadwinner in their household. In order to ensure that the child's financial rights are protected California requires the use of a Coogen Trust pursuant to California Family Code §§ 6752(b)(1)(d)(1), 6753.

      In January 1, 2000 California legislated that earnings by minors in the entertainment industry are the property of the minor, not their parents. However, because a minor cannot legally control their own money, California has attempted to create afiduciary relationship between the parent and the child whereby the parent is legally required to act in a position of trust and confidence to manage their child's finances. Parents of child performers are required to set aside 15 percent of the child's gross earnings in these blocked accounts with a California bank, credit union or brokerage firm; this is called a "Coogen Trust." The issue of whether a Coogen Trust is in place may arise in a petition forGuardianship of the Estate of a child.

For more information about Guardianships or Trusts in California contact an experiencedCalifornia Probate Attorney.

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