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Under the Coogan Act3, 15% of a young performer’s gross earnings must be saved until they reach legal age.
A Coogan Account ensures that young performers receive these earnings when they reach 18 years old. A First Entertainment Credit Union Coogan Account is safely insured and easily set up to directly accept these earnings, which are the legal property of the minor. Here are the rules to open an account:
- A court order is no longer needed.
- The minor is the Beneficiary.
- Parent or legal guardian is the Trustee.
- No withdrawals allowed until the minor turns 18 years old.
- Trustee may transfer funds to an equivalent account before that time.
- Minimum balance requirement of $50 for this account.
Coogan Account Application Requirements
The minor must live or work in Los Angeles County to qualify for eligibility. Here what is needed to apply:
- A copy of a valid U.S. Passport or State ID from the Trustee(s), who is/are the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) of the minor.
- If the Trustee(s) is/are the legal guardian(s) of the minor, a certified court order appointing the legal guardian(s) is also required.
- One document from the list below:
- Certified copy of the minor’s Birth Certificate; or
- Certified copy of an Abstract of Birth for the minor4
- One item from the list below:
- Proof of audition dated within the last 30 days on the company/agency’s letterhead, indicating the name of the minor; or
- Copy of a page from the minor’s employment contract with a company in the entertainment industry, which includes the minor’s name, the signature of the Trustee(s) and the name of the agency/employer, dated within the last 30 days; or
- Copy of a paystub that shows the child is working for a company in the entertainment industry, dated within the last 30 days
- If the minor is Also Known As (AKA) another name, such as a stage name, proper documentation of this AKA will need to be provided, such as a SAG-AFTRA membership card. Failure to do so may result in payroll issues.
- A Social Security Number for the minor is required.
A UTMA Account allows the parent or guardian to save and invest money on the child’s behalf while maintaining full control until the minor is an adult. The Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) allows a minor to receive gifts (money, patents, royalties, etc.) without the aid of a guardian or trustee. A UTMA account is an irrevocable custodial account held for the minor child and has a few unique features:
- Deposited funds are property of the minor and can only be used for their benefit.
- Earned dividends are reported as income under the minor’s name and Social Security Number.
- A trustee or parent/guardian is not required. But the designated custodian is permitted to manage/transact on the account until minor reaches the age of maturity.
- Transactions can only be performed by the account custodian.
- Withdrawals are allowed, but only for the benefit of the child.
- Custodian can close the account anytime, as long as it is in the best interest of the minor.5
Due to the nature of custodial accounts, they cannot be opened online at this time. For assistance, please give us a call at 888.800.3328 or schedule an appointment to meet with one of our branch staff.
Designed for members ages 13-17 years old, our Teen Checking Account teaches the importance of mindful spending. There’s no monthly service charge or minimum balance required. A Debit Card is also available for members who are 16-17. Must have a parent or legal guardian as Joint Tenant.6
Federally Insured by NCUA.
First500 Youth Savings Accounts are available to any minor with a Social Security Number. Must have a parent or legal guardian as Joint Owner. Joint Owner must be a member in good standing.
First500 Youth Accounts will earn the First500 APY on account balances up to $500 with Internet access and eStatement only. Balances above $500 in qualifying accounts and any balance in a non-qualifying First500 account will earn the First500 Savings Base Rate. One First500 Account per Social Security Number. Rates subject to change without notice. Call us for current rates, or visit firstent.org/rates.
The Coogan Act was passed in 1999 and is part of California Law (Family Code section 6753).
Important Note: An Abstract of Birth is only acceptable for opening the Coogan Account. However, please be informed that per California Coogan Law, a certified copy of the Birth Certificate will be required upon closing the Coogan Account.
Should the account be closed before the minor reaches the age of majority, the Credit Union is not responsible for monitoring the disbursement of the funds.
Joint Tenant must qualify for an Advantage or Value Checking Account in their own right. If the Joint Tenant has a First Entertainment Checking Account, it must be maintained in good standing. Teen Checking Accounts have a minimum opening deposit of $1.00, do not earn dividends, and have no minimum balance requirement.