How to Open a Blocked Trust Account or Coogan Account For Your Child

By Eric Bank
A young girl, coins, a piggy bank

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As of publication, four states require parents or guardians to establish blocked trust accounts, also known as Coogan accounts, for child actors younger than the age of majority -- normally 18 or 21 years old, depending on the state. You can open the account at a bank, credit union or other financial institution. California requires residents opening a blocked trust account to use a California financial institution, whereas residents of New York, Louisiana and New Mexico can open the account in any state.

Account Characteristics

As the child's parent or guardian, you must provide certain information to open a blocked trust account, including your name and address, the minor's name and birth date, Social Security numbers and whatever other data the financial institution requires. In California, the minor must be the beneficiary of the account, withdrawals before age 18 aren't permitted and at least 15 percent of the minor's acting income must be deposited in the account. New York state law implements blocked trust accounts under the Uniform Gift to Minors Act or Uniform Trust for Minors Act, which permit withdrawals before age 18 made for the benefit of the minor. New York also requires the deposit of at least 15 percent of acting income. New Mexico requires a blocked trust account only if the child actor earns more than $1,000 for each employment contact. Normally, you must send a trustee's statement and deposit authorization form to each employer to facilitate direct deposits into the blocked trust account.

About the Author

Based in Greenville SC, Eric Bank has been writing business-related articles since 1985. He holds an M.B.A. from New York University and an M.S. in finance from DePaul University. You can see samples of his work at ericbank.com.

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