Welcome to the AbsoluteWrite Water Cooler! Please read The Newbie Guide To Absolute Write

Results 1 to 12 of 12

Thread: Legal age to live alone?

  1. #1
    Living the dream CaroGirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Bookstores
    Posts
    8,295

    Legal age to live alone?

    Does anyone know, or know where I could find out, the legal age for a person to live alone, renting their own apartment? Sixteen? or is that too young?

  2. #2
    Banned
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    48,015
    Which country?

  3. #3
    Five by Five SuperModerator katiemac's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Yesterday
    Posts
    11,071
    18 in the States, but minors can sign contracts at any age if they're emancipated.
    Last edited by katiemac; 07-26-2007 at 02:04 AM.

  4. #4
    Living the dream CaroGirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Bookstores
    Posts
    8,295
    Quote Originally Posted by scarletpeaches View Post
    Which country?
    Canada.

  5. #5
    practical experience, FTW Tsu Dho Nimh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    West Enchilada, AZ
    Posts
    1,340
    http://www.dfait-maeci.gc.ca/canada-...ajorite-en.asp

    18 or 19 is the age of majority, depending on province.

  6. #6
    This hat is getting too hot Chumplet's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Ontario, Canader
    Posts
    3,144
    I'm pretty sure it's sixteen in Canada, but you still can't buy booze or cigarettes or vote.

  7. #7
    practical experience, FTW Legionsynch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Ohio :(
    Posts
    254
    A lot of apartment places that I've seen (I'm in Ohio, mind you) require that anyone under 21 who wants to rent an apartment has to have an over-21/parent co-signer.
    My writing goals:

    Witch Eyes: 1 offer of representation. (2 requests still pending)

    A Love Lost Like Secrets Unseen - My Writing Blog

  8. #8
    Living the dream CaroGirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Bookstores
    Posts
    8,295
    Thanks for all the responses. Do you think an orphaned girl who received an inheritance upon her 16th birthday would be legally allowed to rent an apartment if her lawyer volunteered to co-sign for her?

  9. #9
    blue eyed floozy shakeysix's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    St. John, Kansas
    Posts
    8,413

    emancipated minor

    she would have to go to court to be declared an emancipated minor. and would have to provide good cause. pregnancy alone won't do it. in our state the minor child of a minor is the grandparent's ward. proving abuse would only get her in foster care. i worked as a social worker for a while and remember a case or two that had that determination. it was done so we could issue a check to the minor and not the parent or guardian. kind of rare though. think the rules change from state to state. go to a legal site and put it in. that should pull up the definition--s6

  10. #10
    practical experience, FTW
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    1,039
    Quote Originally Posted by CaroGirl View Post
    Thanks for all the responses. Do you think an orphaned girl who received an inheritance upon her 16th birthday would be legally allowed to rent an apartment if her lawyer volunteered to co-sign for her?
    If your story is modern, not set back in history, then to receive an inheritance directly (as opposed to in trust), she would probably have to be the legal age of majority (whatever that is in her province), or else be an emancipated minor (which requires a court hearing). Inheritances for minors--at least, high-value inheritances like money, stocks, houses, etc.--are pretty much always in trust, i.e., the inheritance itself is watched over by an adult trustee for the minor's benefit. Often the instrument (will/trust document/whatever) will say who is to be trustee, and who is to take over if that trustee can't/won't serve; if not, the court will appoint one (her lawyer might be a good candidate for that).

    If the inheritance can produce income (e.g. if the house is rented out, or the money is earning interest), often the income will go to the minor, but the principal will remain in trust until the child reaches some designated age (like 18--have you seen the headlines about how the actor who plays Harry Potter just turned 18 and became able to access the $20 million he's earned in the Harry Potter movies? Until now, it was held in trust for him). The person leaving the inheritance can designate any age they want, though--21, 25 or even 30 are not uncommon; the point of that is to make the kid unable to directly access the money until he or she has grown up a bit. Most trusts usually also allow money to be taken out--not by the child, but by the trustee, for the child--for certain important expenses, e.g. medical care, education, or emergencies; it could also be set up to allow payments for her housing costs.

    For the inheritance to go directly to a 16-year-old, I would guess that (1) she would have to be an emancipated minor and (2) the trust instrument would have to say she gets it "when she reaches legal majority" or something like that, i.e., it would have to NOT say an exact age. It wouldn't say "16," for the reasons above and more; and for the purposes of your story, it couldn't say "18" or older. But if it just said legal majority, she'd have a good argument, once she was legally emancipated, that she should get the money now. And even if she didn't get all the money now, if she got the income from it that might still work for your story; maybe the trust is set up so she can't access the principal (i.e. the actual big pile of money) until she's 18 or whenever, but starting at 16 she gets quarterly payments of all the income (e.g., all the interest on the huge pile of money, or all the dividends from the stocks or whatever). She could certainly do that while still a minor. Maybe until she was 16 the income was re-invested into the trust, not paid to her, but at 16 the payments would start being made to her?

    As for the apartment, minors can't sign contracts--or that is, they can, but the minor can renege on the contract without any consequences, so people generally won't sign contracts with minors unless there's an adult co-signer or guarantor. But an emancipated minor is different. Also, even if she were an unemancipated minor, if the trust were set up to allow this, the trust itself could rent an apartment for her, with the trustee (maybe this would be her lawyer?) signing the contracts, and the rent being paid out of the trust. Or, as you suggest, the lawyer could co-sign, though I'm not sure why a lawyer would do that--why he'd make himself liable for her rent. Most likely he'd have the trust do it (if he were the trustee he could do this himself; if someone else were, he could ask them to).
    Last edited by ideagirl; 07-26-2007 at 09:12 PM.

  11. #11
    Living the dream CaroGirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Bookstores
    Posts
    8,295
    That was extremely helpful, ideagirl. Thank you very much. I now have enough information to either search the Internet for answers, or ask a lawyer directly without sounding like a total dodo.

  12. #12
    practical experience, FTW
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    1,626
    I don't know about Canada, but in the US my daughter inherited money from her grandmother when she was a minor and it had to be held in trust in a fund administered and invested by the court as part of a pool of money held for minors until she was 18. As her parents, we could petition for funds to be used for her before 18 if she had a special need (e.g. medical, educational). Otherwise no one could touch it. We got statements quarterly showing the investment returns, but we could not direct the investments. She had to petition to have the money released when she was 18 and after about 3 months or bureaucratic to-ing and fro-ing the court sent her a check.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Custom Search