In 1921 seven-year-old Jackie Coogan (1914-1984) became the world’s first child superstar and for he decades held the title of the youngest millionaire in history. At age 21, Jackie believed his fortune was well intact but soon learned that his mother and step-father had spent most of his earnings. Jackie had to sue them for what was left.
This court battle brought much attention upon child performers and provoked the State of California to enact The California Child Actors Bill in 1939. The new “Coogan Law” defines a minor’s earnings as their sole and separate property and requires employers to preserve 15% of gross compensation in trust until the age of majority (18).
Many states have followed California’s lead and enacted their own regulations. To find out if a state requires a minor performer trust account choose any state from the drop down list above and open the link “Trust Account Required?”