48A-14. Financial safeguards in court orders approving contracts.

(a) Notwithstanding any other statute, in an order approving a minor's contract of a type described in G.S. 48A-11, the court shall require that fifteen percent (15%) of the minor's gross earnings pursuant to the contract be set aside by the minor's employer in trust, in an account or other savings plan, and preserved for the benefit of the minor in accordance with G.S. 48A-16. The court may also require that more than fifteen percent (15%) of the minor's gross earnings be set aside in trust, in an account or other savings plan, and preserved for the benefit of the minor in accordance with G.S. 48A-16, upon request of the minor's parent or legal guardian, or the minor, through his or her guardian ad litem.

(b) The court shall require that at least one parent or legal guardian, as the case may be, entitled to the physical custody, care, and control of the minor at the time the order is issued be appointed as trustee of the funds ordered to be set aside in trust for the benefit of the minor, unless the court shall determine that appointment of a different individual, individuals, entity, or entities as trustee or trustees is required in the best interest of the minor.

(c) The trustee or trustees of the funds ordered to be set aside in trust shall promptly provide the minor's employer with a true and accurate photocopy of the trustee's statement pursuant to G.S. 48A-16(c).

(d) The minor's employer shall deposit or disburse the funds as required by the order within 15 business days of receiving the order and receiving the trustee's statement pursuant to G.S. 48A-16 and thereafter as funds might be received. Notwithstanding any other statute, pending receipt of the trustee's statement, the minor's employer shall hold for the benefit of the minor the percentage ordered by the court of the minor's gross earnings pursuant to the contract.

(e) When making the initial deposit of funds pursuant to the order, the minor's employer shall provide the financial institution with a copy of the order.

(f) Once the minor's employer deposits the set-aside funds pursuant to G.S. 48A-16, in trust, in an account or other savings plan, the minor's employer shall have no further obligation or duty to monitor or account for the funds. The trustee or trustees of the trust shall be the only individual, individuals, entity, or entities with the obligation or duty to monitor and account for those funds once they have been deposited by the minor's employer. The trustee or trustees shall do an annual accounting of the funds held in trust, in an account or other savings plan, in accordance with Article 21 of Chapter 28A of the General Statutes.

(g) The court shall have continuing jurisdiction over the trust established pursuant to the order and may at any time, upon petition of the parent or legal guardian, the minor, through his or her guardian ad litem, or the trustee or trustees, on good cause shown, order that the trust be amended or terminated, notwithstanding the provisions of the declaration of trust. An order amending or terminating a trust may be made only after reasonable notice to the beneficiary, to the parent or guardian, if any, and to the trustee or trustees of the funds if the beneficiary is then a minor, with opportunity for all parties to appear and be heard.

(h) The trustee or trustees of the funds ordered to be set aside shall promptly notify the minor's employer in writing of any change in facts that affect the employer's obligation or ability to set aside the funds in accordance with the order, including, but not limited to, a change of financial institution or account number, or the existence of a new or amended order issued pursuant to subsection (g) of this section amending or terminating the employer's obligations under the original order. The written notification shall include the information set forth in subsection (c) of this section and shall be accompanied by a true and accurate photocopy of the new or amended order. (2003-207, s. 2.)