Structured Settlement Annuities

Claimants in personal injury lawsuits have an opportunity to benefit from tax-free growth through structured settlement annuities. The decision to utilize a structure must be made prior to the execution of all legal documents. I am happy and ready to become involved in the settlement planning process as early as attorneys seek my involvement whether that’s before or after mediation. Settlement planning is flexible:

  • I can meet with clients remotely when it best fits their schedule or in-person at my office.
  • I provide tailored options for each and every client.
  • I work hard to ensure that clients have all of their questions answered during the process and after their policy has been issued.
  • My services are free to clients and attorneys.

Contact us today for a consultation.

Benefits of a Structured Settlement

  • The payments and growth from structured settlements are tax-free under Section 104(a) of the Internal Revenue Code.
  • They provide a guaranteed rate of return and rates are competitive right now. This can help protect clients during volatile markets.
  • Payments are guaranteed so clients know that they have a steady stream of income for the short and long term.
  • There are no overhead fees or ongoing management fees which makes them more competitive in comparison to traditional investments.

Market-based Structured Settlements

Clients have the opportunity to explore market-based structured settlement options that allow for the same tax-free growth as traditional structured settlement annuities but with the opportunity to have exposure to market-driven growth potential.

Market-based Structured Settlements can be used in conjunction with traditional structured settlement annuities in some cases or as a standalone option.

Attorney Fee Deferrals

Plaintiffs’ attorneys also have the opportunity to benefit from tax-advantaged investments. Attorney fee deferrals allow attorneys to defer paying taxes on contingency fees until the date that they begin receiving payments. An attorney fee deferral must be decided prior to execution of the settlement agreement.

Medicare Set-Asides

An MSA (Medicare Set-Aside) could be a crucial component of a settlement plan should a client need to continue treating injuries sustained through a Worker’s Compensation or liability claim.

Oftentimes, structured settlement annuities are used to fund MSAs.  We work in coordination with industry experts to ensure that clients have a clear path forward and that their Medicare benefits are protected.

Government Benefit Preservation

Needs-based benefits like Medicaid or Social Security Income (SSI) can easily be jeopardized without proper planning. I collaborate with government benefit specialists to ensure that clients receive a thorough analysis of their benefits and have options to choose from that will allow them to preserve those benefits while utilizing their settlement funds to secure a brighter future.

Non-Qualified Structured Settlements

Settlement claims that do not fall under Section 104 of the IRS Code, and thereby, do not receive tax-free growth, can still benefit from structured settlement annuities by deferring the tax burden until the year that payments are received. Until that time, claimants will begin earning interest on their pre-tax funds.

Types of claims that could be suitable for a non-qualified structured settlement:

  • Punitive Damages
  • Employment Litigation
  • Environmental Claims

This list is not exhaustive. I am happy to assess each case alongside attorneys and their clients to determine the most suitable route to take.

Trust Services

Identifying clients who might benefit from trust services is an important part of the settlement planning process. Some clients might benefit from a traditional structured settlement combined with a trust in some instances. Trusts can also be funded using a structured settlement.

There are a few trust options for clients depending on the amount of their recovery, their medical needs, and whether or not they need a trust in order to preserve their government benefits.

A Special Needs Trust (SNT) might be beneficial for clients who want to preserve their settlement funds and who rely upon their government benefits for their medical and long-term living needs.

Other trust vehicles that can be utilized:

  • Settlement Management Trust
  • Minor Master Pooled Trust
  • Medical Care Trust

Lien Resolution

I can coordinate lien resolution services with our trusted partners in order to help attorneys resolve cases in a timely manner. My goal is to assist attorneys in helping their clients maximize their recovery and not delay or jeopardize their settlement funds because of unpaid liens. The most common types of liens can include:

  • Medicaid Liens
  • Medicare Liens
  • VA Liens
  • ERISA or Private Healthcare liens

From identifying liens to compliance, I will work alongside trusted lien experts to ensure that attorneys and their clients are protected from disruptions to their settlement claims.

Mass Torts

Because of the numerous parties involved, legal and ethical regulations, and compliance issues, a settlement planner can be helpful in providing support to attorneys as they work to resolve a mass tort claim on a timeline. My goal is to streamline the administrative burden for attorneys and to work with clients to understand their settlement options and the impact that these options could have on their futures.

Here are a few of the ways that I can assist with mass tort resolution for clients:

  • Coordinating trust services (Special Needs Trusts, Minor Master Pooled Trusts, etc.)
  • Providing government benefit preservation analysis
  • Lien resolution coordination
  • Qualified Settlement Fund administration
  • Guardian Ad Litem Coordination

Qualified Settlement Funds

Also known as 468B Trusts, Qualified Settlement Funds (QSFs) can be a beneficial tool for both plaintiffs and defendants. Instead of delaying mass tort resolution or claims involving multiple parties, defendants can make a tax-deductible payment into a QSF in exchange for a full release of claims. This allows time for claimants to have their settlement options provided and for lien resolution and preparation of all documentation.