I'm astonished by the number of times my industry colleagues representing certain insurance companies employ the cookie cutter approach to structured settlement documents. The cookie cutter documents are bastardized versions of what was commonplace 20 years ago. I'm even more amazed that elements of this "cookie cutter approach" make it past many a counsel.
The document typically begins with "This Settlement Agreement and Release is made and entered into this __ day of ____ 2009"
The closing paragraph before signatures in this form of document is something to the effect of:
" Effectiveness...This document shall become effective following approval of the settlement by the Probate Court (if minor's case) and by execution of each of the parties".
Our firm insists on receiving an executed set of documents concurrent with submission to the qualified assignment company, or the annuity issuer. More often then not the opening paragraph is not filled in. So the executed documents have blanks as to date the opening paragraph. Perhaps some of the legal scribes among our readers could explain what if anything "shooting blanks" means legally. If it is superfluous due to the closing paragraph then I ask my industry colleagues why the heck do you keep putting it there? If it is not superfluous, then why the aversion to filling in the blanks?
I am often snicker when I hear from a colleague "that the insurance company insists on doing it this way". Yeah right, I'm sure that there was an edict "from up above" to have a "blanks-in" standard.
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