by John Darer® CLU ChFC MSSC RSP CLTC
Structured settlements are not for thrill seekers. Jonathan P. Groth is an attorney in Wisconsin practicing civil litigation with the law firm of Pitman, Kyle & Sicula, S.C. in Milwaukee and author of the Wisconsin Personal Injury Law Weblog. The title of Groth's July 15, 2008 post Structured Settlements-not exciting but very important is worth highlighting. Structured settlements are definitely not as exciting as stocks, call option, put options or mutual funds or lotto.
Admittedly, structured settlements totally suck IF you are a thrill seeker with your money.
If however, you are seeking, safety security and guarantees, assurance of income you cannot outlive and a smaller check to write to Uncle Sam, THEN structured settlements are sexy.
Groth and other attorneys are encouraged to continue to write about structured settlements. Yet a couple of points from Groth's post need to be cleaned up:
- The terms of the structured settlement must be written into the settlement agreement. There must be an obligation to pay periodic payments created in the settlement agreement.
- The Assignor of the obligation to make structured settlement payments may be (1) the Defendant (2) The Defendant's insurer (3) the trustee/administrator of a IRC 468B Qualified Settlement Fund
- While most structured settlements involve qualified assignments, where the periodic payment obligation is NOT assigned the structured settlement annuity may be purchased and owned by the Defendant, or its insurer. In that case the Defendant or insurer may be the customer if that is who you are advising.
- In the contemporary world of structured settlements there are multiple stakeholders represented by multiple consultants. Arguably if you are counseling a plaintiff on financial strategies concerning an insurance product or other financial product you are responsible to that customer.