by John Darer® CLU ChFC MSSC RSP
In QSF Symposium 2012-1, published September 26, 2012, Patrick Hindert reports that the Evolve Bank & Trust sponsored symposium was "dedicated exclusively to the advancement of qualified settlement fund (QSF) professionals, the purpose of the Symposium are (sic) to stimulate dialogue among QSF industry leaders and experts and to help shape industry thinking on QSF issues". Well I would like to start a dialogue among industry leaders and experts regarding a potential significant point about one of the purported benefits of qualified settlement funds.
In QSF Symposium 2012-2 , published September 30, 2012, Hindert states as one of the advantages to both defendants and plaintiffs:
"Plaintiffs can conduct their settlement planning with a sum certain, using their own advisers, free from the pressures of litigation, with unlimited time to analyze and address tax, investment and government benefit issues"
Hindert is to be thanked for making the assertion, which raises a number of reasonable and logical questions:
- Can a plaintiff truly leave money in a QSF for an "unlimited time" (for example 5 years, waiting for interest rates to rise from current levels), and THEN, enter into an agreement to make periodic payments under a traditional. or a non-qualified structured settlement?
- Where and at what point, if ever, do tax principles such as constructive receipt and/or economic benefit come into play in an unlimited time frame?
- Where is the support to Hindert's assertion of an "absolute" in this regard?