- How often should one check one's website to check to see if what is being said is still current?
- What if the facts presented on one's website were not correct in the first place?
Someone better tell Robert Risk at Structured Settlement Services that it's no longer 2001 or 2002.
The following text currently appears in the basics section of Structured Settlement Services website, ostensibly to educate the public on the essentials of estate tax consequences of structured settlements.
"Planning for Estate Taxes
The receipt of settlement proceeds, either by a lump sum or through periodic payments, when combined with the claimant's other assets, can create an estate in excess of $1,000,000 which would be subject to estate taxes at the death of the claimant. Estate tax rates range from 37 to 55 percent of amounts above $1,000,000, and payment generally is due in cash in nine months after the death. With proper planning, the impact of potential estate taxes can be minimized".
Some yo yo factoring blogger has also plagiarized the above cited text which we will prove to be incorrect and it shows up in Google search results
It is worth noting that the copyright notice for the Structured Settlement Services website says 2007-2009.
The following table sets forth the exemptions and the top estate tax rates for the last 12 years.
|Year||Estate Tax Exemption||Top Estate Tax Rate|
The above demonstrates the importance of financial literacy among settlement planners and those that call themselves settlement planners but are annuity brokers. It's not just for your own readers! The profligate plagiarism among bloggers who simply grab the RSS feed without further comment spreads the misinformation.
Estate taxes are due to go to $0 in 2010 and then revert to the 2001 level in 2011 absent an act of Congress.
Among the solutions for those with potential estate tax liquidity issues that elect structured settlements as part of their recovery are:
- Include a death commutation rider as part of the structured settlement. A portion of remaining certain payments at death can be commuted to a lump sum at a contractual cost that is generally more favorable than what is available from cash now pushers.
- Purchase life insurance through an irrevocable life insurance trust to provide liquidity to pay estate taxes. This strategy is dependent on the insurability of the primary structured settlement annuitant.
- Assuming the primary annuitant is insurable consider a shorter certain period with a concomitant increase in the amount of life insurance in the ILIT. Life insurance death proceeds generally are free of income taxes. The shorter certain period on the structure can mitigate the estate tax exposure from the structured settlement on the overall estate. Life insurance proceeds may be payable in a lump sum as well as other payment options.
- As a last resort, if all is lost from an advanced planning standpoint you can always seek out a cash now pusher.