A settlement plan is a detailed, comprehensive look at a client’s financial situation with specific recommendations designed to help a client be in the best possible financial position after receiving settlement proceeds.
What is Settlement Planning?
Settlement planning involves allocating the net recovery from a legal settlement to maximize the ability of the recipients and their guardians to meet their needs and goals. Settlement planning should end in a transition to a more permanent financial planner that will assist the claimants to take control of their financial future. By setting financial goals, developing and implementing financial strategies, and monitoring progress on a regular basis, the likelihood of achieving financial goals is greatly increased.
Why Develop a Settlement Plan?
Most people have difficulty managing a large settlement. Many opportunities and hazards present themselves even before the settlement is in hand and others arise after the money arrives. Many times the settlement plan includes the use of unique planning vehicles such as special needs trusts, structured settlement annuities and other complex instruments. If a minor or incompetent injury victim is involved, the law may require a guardian-ad-litem to review the plan and make a recommendation to a judge who must approve any settlement. Therefore, it is expedient to formulate an intricate, sensible and long-term strategy as soon as possible to ensure that all of the parties agree that the plan is in the best interests of the recipients. In designing a settlement plan, our team develops a better understanding of the client’s current financial situation and the need to zealously manage sufficient financial resources to meet their financial needs.
What Areas Will a Settlement Plan Address?
A settlement plan is tailored to each client, so each plan will address only the areas pertinent to that client. A typical plan addresses the following areas:
financial needs and planning;
estate planning concerns;
guardianship designation for minors;
and tax planning.
Can You or Your Client Benefit From Settlement Planning?
Over the past several months, plaintiff attorneys and the settlement planning community have anticipated that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) would be publishing some sort of guidance regarding Liability Medicare Set Aside Accounts (LMSAs) and No-Fault [...]
One of the most common questions we receive is about how to deal with healthcare and ERISA liens. As you know, resolving liens is often one of the most frustrating and time-consuming aspects of your cases. We’re excited to announce [...]
The following article was published in the Fall 2016 Utah Trial Journal. Written by Greg Maxwell and Daniel Maxwell. ABLE Accounts - An Introduction As settlement planning attorneys, we are consistently asked how to handle small settlements for injured [...]
Structured Settlement Annuities – Advantages and Disadvantages Personal injury attorneys are well aware of the benefits of structured settlement annuities and the role they play in settling a personal injury claim. Notably, structured annuities are an excellent vehicle to [...]
As a personal injury attorney, you hate it when your former clients that are receiving structured settlement annuity payments are targeted by the “cash now” companies we all see on TV. All of the planning done at the time of [...]
Why You Should Include a “No-1099” Provision in Settlement Agreements At the recent annual conference of the Society of Settlement Planners, one of the presenters suggested adding a provision regarding Form 1099s to settlement agreements. Defendants or their insurers [...]
Income Tax The IRC has provided for tax advantages of structured settlements. Settlement recoveries arising from compensatory damages for personal physical injuries are income tax free. IRC Section 104(a)(2) states in part: "...gross income does not include the amount of [...]
Over a thirty year legal career, the average lawyer is sued for malpractice three times. Of the 40,000 claims for legal malpractice every year, 12,000 result in some recovery of money damages. Between the last two studies performed by the ABA, [...]
Lessons from the Powerball On Jan. 14, 2016, it was announced that winners from three different states will share the largest Powerball jackpot ever - $1.6 billion. After the winners finish celebrating, they will have an important choice to [...]
Protecting the Settlement Recovery: Planning Options for Settlement Recipients and their Attorneys Greg B. Maxwell, Esq., CFP®, and Joseph W. Tombs, Esq., CFP® Note: This article was originally published in the Utah Trial Journal in the Spring / Summer [...]
Proper Rule 11 language will allow your client some breathing room after mediation to develop a personalized settlement plan, and permit them to choose which annuity companies or trust companies, if any, will be used to fund their future payments. [...]
Attorney Fee Structures Attorneys in contingency fee practices face a great challenge when it comes to managing cash flows due to the unstable nature of inflows relative to the fixed nature of outflows. A typical personal injury law practice [...]
Structured Settlement Annuities A structured settlement annuity is a tool that helps a claimant ensure that the funds from a settlement will be available in the future. While there are many positive aspects about structured settlements, a wise settlement planner will balance [...]
A settlement plan is a detailed, comprehensive look at a client's financial situation with specific recommendations designed to help a client be in the best possible financial position after receiving settlement proceeds. What is Settlement Planning? Settlement planning involves allocating [...]
There's a lot to remember when you're dealing with a personal injury case. At Amicus, we see some of the common mistakes made by attorneys, and we want to help you avoid those same mistakes. This articles lists some [...]
It was great to see and speak with many of you at the recent UAJ annual conference. We appreciate our relationship with the UAJ and are happy to sponsor that event each year. It’s always interesting to see what questions [...]
Amicus Settlement Planners, LLC is pleased to announce the addition of Daniel Maxwell, to the firm. Daniel recently graduated summa cum laude from Creighton University School of Law and passed the Utah State Bar exam. He will be working with Amicus’ settlement [...]
As attorneys representing injury victims, you know that many of your clients rely on needs-based government benefits such as Medicaid or SSI. A net settlement of anything over $2,000 likely means your client will need to spend their settlement down in [...]
Greg Maxwell and Kent Hansen wrote an article that was published in the Utah Trial Journal. The title of the article is "Medicare Set Asides in Liability Cases: What do we do now?" The text of the article follows: Medicare Set [...]
It was nice to see and speak with many of you at the UAJ meeting earlier this month. We appreciate our relationship with the UAJ and are happy to sponsor that event each year. Most plaintiff attorneys are aware of [...]