by John Darer CLU ChFC MSSC CeFT RSP CLTC
When a structured settlement is used in conjunction with a Special Needs Trust or Supplemental Needs Trust the annuity owner IS NOT the Special Needs Trust or the Supplemental Needs Trust. The Special Needs trust is the recipient of the structured settlement payments. One could say that it is the owner of the structured settlement payment rights, but NOT the owner of the annuity itself.
Qualified Assignment Company is Almost Always the Owner of the Structured Settlement Annuity
The owner of the structured annuity is either the Defendant or its Insurer, if there has been no qualified assignment of the periodic payment obligation. If there has been a qualified assignment, as would be the majority of cases, the owner of the structured annuity is the qualified assignment company.If the structured settlement uses United States Treasury obligations, as an alternative permissible qualified funding instrument, the answer remains the same. Those assets are similarly owned by the qualified assignment company.
Some attorneys feel that the failure of the Social Security Administration (SSA) to specifically address structured settlements (as opposed to just plain old annuities) by DEFRA 2005 through subsequent POMS is a reason not to use structured settlements in this manner. Others do not. Click here for more about why a structured settlement may be useful in conjunction with a Special Needs Trust or Supplemental Needs Trust.