Monthly Archives: August 2016

Selling Structured Settlements

Structured settlements can be sold when there is a monetary emergency. There is an option of selling the settlement in parts, instead of opting to sell the whole settlement for a lump sum. The whole settlement needs to be sold only in case of dire emergency when the cash has to be raised immediately. Structured settlements can be sold as portions when money is required in smaller quantities and does not require the lump sum that would be available if the whole of the structured settlement is sold.

Structured settlements ensure periodic payments of a lump sum, and the lump sum can be released by selling a part or whole of the structured settlement. However, when a structured settlement is sold for a lump sum, the amount received is usually considerable less than the market value or lower than what would be received in monthly installments, but they do provide the option for sale in case of financial necessity.

In some cases where the structured settlement on periodic basis is no longer required, such as in cases of worker’s compensation where the medical bills no longer need to be paid after the individual is discharged from the hospital, selling off the remaining portion of the structured settlement can produce a tidy lump sum that could be used for other necessities.

Consider the legalities before selling a structured settlement, as some might not have the option of being sold earlier for a lump sum. Also, when the negotiations take place, some contracts might put up the restriction on sale of the structured settlement. Since structured settlements help in tax savings, it might make the person liable to pay tax after the settlement is sold. Also, if the settlement is being sold to raise cash for an emergency, it is possible that the insurance company might make an offer considerably lower than market value.

Licensed brokers and attorneys would be able to assist in selling a structured settlement in an appropriate manner since they are specialized in this field. It is important to take their advice before selling either a part or whole of a structured settlement as this might result in a bad judgment on part of the individual.

All About a Structured Settlement

If you have been hurt in an accident, chances are you have hired an attorney to pursue your claim for compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering. This is a fairly common occurrence for those who have been put through the harrowing ordeal of having to endure an accident for which they were not at fault. For many years when a settlement was awarded to the victim, the amount of money that was awarded would go to the victim in the form of a lump sum. However, this is generally not the case anymore. Nowadays the more common manner of paying money to the injured party is in the form of a structured settlement.

What is a Structured Settlement?

In the simplest of terms, a structured settlement is a payment to the injured party made in regular installments over a period of time. This is different than getting a cash award in a lump sum up front. For example, if a person was in an accident and it was ruled that the other party was at fault, the other party may have to pay damages. If the amount was one million dollars, instead of a check being cut for one million dollars, it would be paid out in monthly installments over a period of a few years. For instance, a one million dollar settlement paid out monthly over ten years would mean a check paid to the inured party in an amount a little over eight thousand dollars per month. A structured settlement can vary as to how it is paid out. Some forms of structured settlement are paid out monthly and others annually.

Structured settlements first started to gain popularity in 1982 when Congress passed the Periodic Payment Settlement Act. This was introduced to allow settlements to be paid out over time in order to benefit both the party paying the claim as well as the victim. Those people who have had a personal injury due to an accident or who have had a worker’s compensation claim can benefit greatly by having the money from the settlement arrive in regularly scheduled amounts across a long period of time. A structured settlement is a good idea in most cases.

Benefits of a Structured Settlement

There are many long term benefits to having a structured settlement. First, the person who was injured and awarded the settlement is likely suffering from a debilitating injury that will forever affect their life and livelihood. This could be anything from a condition that makes life uncomfortable to a serious crippling injury that forever changes the person. Regardless of the severity of the injury the victim has to become used to living their life in a different manner. Adding to this the stress of dealing with a large sum of money they are not used to can make the transition even more difficult.

A structured settlement, though, can help alleviate some of the stress. It is especially difficult to manage a large sum of money if you will no longer be able to earn a living for the remainder of your life. Whatever sum of money you were awarded must be invested and used wisely in order to last throughout your lifetime. This is not always an easy feat. Often people have to hire financial advisors and investment advisors to keep track of and administer the money so it does not run out. With a structured settlement, though, this process becomes much more manageable.

Without a structured settlement, many victims had to rely on a third party. In a lot of cases, the money ran out quickly. This is for several reasons. The victim may have had poor spending habits. Faced with a large sum of money, they were not thinking about the future but instead were thinking of fun ways to spend a lot of money they never had before. Not long after that, they find the money is gone and they still have to live their life.

Another reason is because professionals were hired to advise and administer the money appropriately. Without some knowledge of financial endeavors, the victim may have hired someone incompetent or unreliable. The money would not be invested wisely and gone before they knew it. Another common reason is the victim relies on assistance from family members thinking they would have his best interests at heart. Unfortunately, this is often not the case and greed gets the better of the family member. A structured settlement reduces the risk of these issues substantially.

When is a Structured Settlement Best?

A structured settlement is not the answer for everyone. Some victims will prefer and benefit from a lump sum payment. However, there are very specific cases where a structured settlement is ideal for the victim. This generally occurs when the victim is in need of long term or permanent care. When an accident occurs that leaves a person unable to work and earn money for themselves over a long period of time, they will need the funds to care for themselves and whatever medical care is necessary. Whether it is an injury that will take a very long time from which to recover or a permanent disability that will prevent the victim from working for the duration of his life, a structured settlement is ideal in these situations.

For anyone who has any type of guardianship, a structured settlement is also a perfect solution. For example, if someone dies as a result of an accident through no fault of his own, a settlement may be awarded. However, the settlement is going to the victim’s family as opposed to the victim. The money may be used for funeral expenses and for the care of the surviving family, especially if the victim was the provider of the family’s income. Spouses and children are generally the beneficiaries of a structured settlement. Minor children can especially take advantage of the benefits of a structured settlement. Their housing, food and other every day expenses will be ensured. Plus, very often their education and college expenses will also be taken care of so they can lead a productive life even without the assistance of their loved one.

Strategies for Handling a Structured Settlement Cash Award

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A structured settlement involves cash payments on a regular schedule from one party to another as a result of a legal judgment or binding arbitration (or even a simple agreement between the two parties to avoid a legal confrontation). For many recipients, the lure of a big lump sum of structured settlement cash in their hands right away is overwhelming.

Enter structured settlement cash companies. They offer to buy structured settlements in return for one big payout to the recipient of the settlement. They make their money, of course, by offering only a percentage of the total settlement amount in return for giving the recipient a bundle of cash at one time. This happens all the time, although some critics believe it is borderline illegal, or at the very least distasteful.

If you’re in this situation and you decide to pursue a lump sum alternative, do your homework! Investigate the structured settlement cash company’s history thoroughly. Check with the Better Business Bureau, search the Internet, and by all means, hire a competent attorney. There are some tricky legal issues at play in these cases, and you don’t want to have problems later on with the law or the structured settlement cash broker with whom you’ve made these arrangements.

It’s smart to take some time after you learn that you’ll be getting structured settlement cash to get over the emotional high and return to more rational thinking. There is much to recommend keeping the structured settlement as is – that is, taking regular payments over time instead of selling the settlement for fast cash. One advantage is the tax shelter an annuity provides. You can set it up, with the help of a skilled attorney, so that it provides you with payments that are tax-free.

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However, often there are high fees associated with the management of an annuity. While the fees seldom come close to equalling the tax advantages, some people simply prefer a large lump sum in hand. Reasons include wanting to make a big purchase they’ve been putting off, such as a new home, or to pay down delinquent taxes or medical bills.

If you choose to sell your structured settlement cash award for a lump sum payout, it’s vitally important to hire a lawyer. Don’t let the $ signs in your eyes overrule the reasoning part of your brain. Slick companies have been known to settle with some folks for as little as one-third of the total amount of the structured settlement cash award! Those companies rely on a significant number of people who jump before thinking it through. This is why an attorney is so crucial. He or she can help keep you in the right frame of mind.

Other reasons to enlist the aid of a trained structured cash settlement lawyer include dealing with certain legal restrictions, tax implications, and related obstacles. It varies from state to state, so be careful. Whatever you decide to do with your structured settlement cash, arming yourself with the correct information for your situation is the key.

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Ideally, you will leave this article with an enriched perspective on the topic of structured settlement cash award. The facts and analysis presented here were written with a single goal: to help you the reader to learn more about this fascinating topic.