2010 Tennessee Code
Title 34 - Guardianship
Chapter 1 - Guardianships and Conservatorships Generally
34-1-104 - Letters of guardianship or conservatorship Disposition of funds of minor under $20,000 Discharge of paying entities Order of distribution Distribution of funds.

34-1-104. Letters of guardianship or conservatorship Disposition of funds of minor under $20,000 Discharge of paying entities Order of distribution Distribution of funds.

(a)  Except as provided in subsections (b) and (c), no person shall undertake the administration of the estate of a minor or disabled person until the person has been issued letters of guardianship or letters of conservatorship; provided, that no guardian or conservator shall be appointed if the property of the minor or disabled person is deposited with the clerk of the court subject to distribution on order of the court.

(b)  If the total property of a minor or disabled person does not exceed the sum of twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) and the court determines it is in the best interest of the minor or disabled person, the court may order any person holding property belonging to the minor or disabled person to deliver all or any part of the money or property, without the necessity of the appointment of a fiduciary, to the natural guardian or guardians of the minor or to the person with whom the minor or disabled person resides or to the disabled person. Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, if the guardians of the minor are the parents of the minor and are divorced or legally separated from each other, the court may order that the funds be delivered, all or in part, to either of the parents if the court finds that such order would best serve the welfare of the minor. The receipt by any of these persons of the money or property discharges the paying entity from further liability. To bring the matter before the court, any person may petition the court for an order of distribution. The petition shall set forth the information required by § 34-2-104 and § 34-3-104, except the petition shall request distribution according to this section instead of the appointment of a fiduciary. The court may appoint a guardian ad litem to assist it in determining the best interest of the minor or disabled person.

(c)  In any judicial proceeding in which any fund or part of the fund  is decreed to belong to a minor or disabled person, or in which there is a recovery in favor of a minor or disabled person, the court trying the case may retain the fund or recovery or part of the fund or recovery to be disbursed by the clerk and master or clerk of the court for the support, maintenance or education of the minor or disabled person under the orders of the court; provided, that the fund or part of the fund or the amount of the recovery does not exceed the sum of twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) and the minor is without a legal guardian; and provided further, that the court, in its discretion, may direct the fund to be paid to the natural guardian of the minor or the other person having the care and custody of the minor or disabled person to be applied for the support, maintenance or education of the minor or disabled person, subject to such terms and conditions as the court may impose.

[Acts 1992, ch. 794, § 5; 1994, ch. 855, § 1; T.C.A. § 34-11-104; Acts 2008, ch. 958, § 1; 2008, ch. 1204, § 1.]  

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