Question Detail: After having a car accident I found myself asking what would happen to my daughter’s support if I had died. The accident was severe enough to break bones and I find myself laid up for a long period of time with a lot of time to think. I’m curious as to what would’ve happened to any settlement reached with the insurance company as a result of the accident? The mother and I aren’t together so any support would be solely from her ability to earn a living. I wonder, does that change what would need to be done in order for my dependent daughter to recover? Would that money be protected for her future? Would she still have access to it as needed before she’s the age of majority? If I had a will which stipulated how I wanted my assets divided would it affect how the money from the car accident settlement was allocated?
Answer: You asked a good question. There would be two settlements, one for your estate and the other for your dependent daughter. Any settlement into your estate would be distributed according to your will or if no will, then according to Iowa law. (You need a will.) Any settlement disbursement to your daughter would go into a trust and some money would be available for her benefit before she is of the age of majority, eighteen in Iowa. The money would need Court approval to be withdrawn. The mother could not just withdraw it without court approval. The mother is the likely person in charge of the conservatorship, unless you have a will and direct who you would like to serve as the conservator.
You should also read this question and answer: How can you get financial help after a parent paying child support dies?