Trusts and Asset Management

Plaintiff Recovery Trust: How to Double or Triple a Plaintiff’s After-Tax Net Recovery

Two Powerful Tax-Saving Strategies for Taxable Settlements Are you an attorney or a plaintiff dealing with a settlement that will be taxable (meaning the plaintiff will have to pay income taxes on the recovery)? Are you concerned about the hefty tax burdens that can...

Options to Protect Your Client’s Medicaid and SSI

One of the most important facets of settlement planning is to ensure that needs-based government benefits like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid are protected once a plaintiff receives a legal recovery.  In general, clients have four options on how...

How the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Created the Plaintiff Double Tax Trap

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 had a significant impact on plaintiffs receiving taxable settlements. Prior to this change in the law, plaintiffs could list their attorney's fees as a deduction on their tax returns, avoiding paying tax on the attorney fee...

When a Legal Recovery is Considered Taxable to the Client

Introduction: As a plaintiff attorney, it is important to ensure that a client will get a fair amount out of their settlement award. Unfortunately, for taxable damages cases, clients have to pay taxes on the amount that they will receive and the attorney’s fee portion...

How the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Created the Plaintiff Double Tax Trap

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) of 2017 had a significant impact on plaintiffs receiving taxable settlements. Prior to this change in the law, plaintiffs could list their attorney's fees as a deduction on their tax returns, avoiding paying tax on the attorney fee portion. However, the TCJA changed this. Now, individual plaintiffs cannot claim...

When a Legal Recovery is Considered Taxable to the Client

Introduction: As a plaintiff attorney, it is important to ensure that a client will get a fair amount out of their settlement award. Unfortunately, for taxable damages cases, clients have to pay taxes on the amount that they will receive and the attorney’s fee portion of the case. But there are tax planning strategies that can help clients...

When to Recommend a Special Needs Trust for a Settling Client

A special needs trust may be an appropriate planning tool for a client who has a disability and has been awarded money from a lawsuit— and the client wishes to maintain eligibility for government benefits like Medicaid and SSI. This article discusses situations when a special needs trust may be appropriate for a settlement recipient. When is a...

What is the Difference Between a Special Needs Trust and an ABLE Account?

Special needs trusts and ABLE accounts are both financial vehicles that are specifically designed to help individuals with special needs. They both offer similar benefits, but they have different purposes and eligibility requirements. This article provides an overview of the key differences between a special needs trust and an ABLE account....

What Are the Special Needs Trust Distribution Guidelines?

Clients often ask us about the distribution guidelines of a special needs trust. Clients who will benefit from a special needs trust are most likely receiving needs-based government benefits like SSI and Medicaid, so it is a good idea for them to understand the items that special needs can pay for. Due to the vast number of items that special...

How Can Attorneys Protect Clients with Annuities from Factoring Companies?

Past settlement recipients who elected to receive all or a portion of their settlement funds via a structured settlement annuity might be tempted to sell their annuity payments to factoring companies (more commonly known as “cash now” companies). These companies often purchase annuity payments for pennies on the dollar, leaving your past...

Who Qualifies for a Special Needs Trust?

Personal injury attorneys frequently call our office and ask who qualifies for a special needs trust. There are 3 requirements for an individual to be eligible for a special needs trust:  The client must be 64 years old or younger. The client must be deemed disabled by the Social Security Administration. The client should be receiving either...

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