by John D. Darer CLU ChFC CSSC
On July 15, 2008, Louisiana Governor, Bobby Jindal signed HB133 a bill favorable to structured settlements and judgments in favor of children. The bill provided an amendment and reenactment of Article 4521 to Code of Civil Procedure and enacted Articles 4272(C) and 4522.
Article 4272 Court approval of payments to minor
"In approving any proposal by which money will be paid to the minor as the result of a judgment or settlement, the court may order that the money be paid under a structured settlement agreement which provides for periodic payments and is underwritten by a financially responsible entity that assumes responsibility for future payments"
Article 4522 Judgment in favor of minor: structured settlement
"Whenever the court renders monetary judgment in favor of a minor, the court may order that the money be paid under a structured settlement agreement which provides for periodic payments and is underwritten by a financially responsible entity that assumes responsibility for future payments"
In both cases the Court is required to consider the following factors in determining whether the proposed payment schedule is in the best interest of the minor:
- Age and life expectancy
- Current and anticipated financial needs
- Income and Estate Tax implications
- Impact on eligibility for government benefits
- Present Value of proposed payment arrangement and the method by which the value is calculated.
The new laws in Louisiana represent common sense and essential knowledge in today's world. Even though not specifically required in many other states it would be a best practice to provide justification.
Lawyers bringing cases to judges need to address these issues in advance and provide justification in their petitions. Working with a qualified knowledgeable settlement planner or litigation recovery management specialist and allied professionals will be essential.
Click Download louisiana_hb_133_re_structured_settlements_for_minors.pdf for the full text of Louisiana HB 133