John D. Darer, CLU ChFC CSSC RSP, of 4structures.com, LLC is the first person in the United States to earn the Registered Settlement Planner professional designation.
The Registered Settlement Planner Program (RSP) is a product of collaboration between the Registry of Settlement Planners Board (RSP Board) and Texas Tech University's Personal Financial Planning Division. The coursework is rigorous and compares to graduate-level work. It is designed for people who have made a serious commitment to the field of comprehensive settlement planning. The program consists of two courses, each of which must be completed within a year of registration. Successful completion of these courses is required to meet education requirement of the RSP designation. In addition each candidate must write a comprehensive settlement plan incorporating what they have learned and have that pass the RSP Board and subscribe to the RSP code of ethics.
The course description found on the Texas Tech website states that upon completion of the course candidates should be able to:
- Demonstrate a mastery of the legal environment as it relates to planning for the needs of personal injury victims and their families.
- Demonstrate a mastery of the financial planning environment as it relates to planning for the needs of personal injury victims and their families.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the entire settlement planning process from defining the scope of the engagement to creating a settlement plan.
- Demonstrate an understanding of the role of dissipation risk in a settlement plan.
- Acquire knowledge of the ethical issues and practice standards faced by settlement planners.
- Acquire the ability to practice in the area of settlement planning without supervision.
- Develop a thorough understanding of the tax issues faced in settlement planning.
- Prepare and present a written comprehensive settlement plan for a catastrophically injured client.
The goals of the Registry are:
- Ensuring that settlement planners provide competent timely advice to clients
- Provide attorneys with assurance that their selected settlement adviser is competent and abides by a code of ethics
- Provide a measure of accountability to settlement planning practitioners
- Set a standard of practice to enable clients and attorneys to know what to expect from a relationship with a settlement planner.
This author is proud to be a Registered Settlement Planner and appreciates the good natured competition from other candidates as motivation to be the first Registered Settlement Planner (RSP) in the country. It's never easy when you are running a busy practice, or have family or other personal obligations, but structured settlement brokers and settlement planners are encouraged to commit the time and effort to help elevate the profession.
Previous posts on the Registered Settlement Planner program, overlapping disciplines and professional credentials:
Registered Settlement Planner Program View From the Middle February 4, 2008
"Convergence" vs "The Quarterback" February 11, 2008
Professional Designations: SFSP Publishes White Paper May 8, 2008