Understanding Structured Settlements and their Advantages

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By Josh Murray
Jul 13, 2005, 20:56


Summary: Put in simple terms, a structured settlement is merely an agreement that’s reached between a plaintiff and defendant that outlines the flow of payment that the plaintiff receives, due to injury.

Note: Guest Author articles made available as a courtesy to our readers. The advice and opinions expressed therein are not necessarily those of DadsRights.org, and their appearance on the DadsRights.org website is not an endorsement of the articles, their contents, or their authors.]

Put in simple terms, a structured settlement is merely an agreement that’s reached between a plaintiff and defendant that outlines the flow of payment that the plaintiff receives, due to injury. These payments – which are made over a specified period of time – do offer some advantages to the recipient and are advocated by many legal professionals, since they provide more benefits over time, when tax rates are factored in for consideration.

When the payment system is set up, it can be customized according to the needs of the recipient and is issued through a stable financial institution. In cases where there will be ongoing medical expenses and/or living expenses that will be covered by such a settlement, it’s important to be comfortable with the experience and the history of success that the company offers.

Among the many advantages of a structured settlement is the fact that the income that’s generated from this type of agreement is not included as part of the recipient’s annual gross income. In this way, the amount of dollars that are extracted upon filing a tax return doesn’t have to be adjusted upward due to the excess income that is provided through a structured settlement.

Since the payments that are made through a structured settlement are guaranteed by some of the largest and most highly acclaimed insurance companies in America, there is a very low risk factor that’s involved in receiving an uninterrupted cash flow once a settlement has been reached. This, too, is a benefit, since the discontinuation of payout can be devastating to an individual or their family.

In contrast to the interest that’s acquired through CDs or Municipal Bonds, monies that are accrued through a structured settlement are not factored into the calculation of Social Security benefits. That translates into a greater monthly benefit for those who are collecting payments through the Social Security Department, which can make a huge different to those who are on such a fixed income.

Depending upon the level of disability, structure settlements can be set up to last for the lifetime of the recipient. These payments are guaranteed and can be customized to be made on specific dates or increased on a yearly basis in order to offset the cost of living, as well as factoring in any other special needs that may become apparent.

For those who suffer from credit problems or lose assets as the result of a divorce, the monies that are siphoned through a structured settlement cannot be considered as part of the financial scenario of the individual. Creditors are not allowed to claim any portion of the funds, and a structured settlement is not considered common property.

In addition to these, there are a number of other benefits that are intrinsic to a structured settlement, only some of which are geared toward the plaintiff. Benefits are also enjoyed by the attorneys and financial institutions that back such settlements. For further information, speak with your personal legal representative or consult one of the major online search engines.

About the Author Josh Murray is a contributing writer to http://www.structuredsettlementinfo.info, a site that provides news and information on structured settlements.

Article Source: GoArticles.com

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