5 Tips to Thrive During COVID-19
With most courts temporarily closed and more litigators turning to settlements, it’s essential to have a plan for each of your clients. Taking proactive measures can insulate injured claimants and their attorneys from the severe financial implications of a pandemic.
Diversification is the best route to long-term financial stability. Plaintiff attorneys and their clients can balance safety and growth by combining insurance-based options (e.g., structured settlement annuities, fixed indexed annuities, interest-rate linked structured settlements, etc.) with market-based options (Settlements Plus™, Fee Structure Plus®, trusts, investment accounts, etc.).
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#2: PRESERVE BENEFITS
Medical expenses can make even the largest settlement inadequate when it comes to the lifetime cost of care. A special needs trust can use the settlement funds to supplement needs-based benefits for a disabled claimant. Pooled trust options are available for claimants who do not qualify for first-party special needs trusts.
As for entitlement benefits, claimants who are currently receiving or who are about to receive Medicare may need a Medicare Set-Aside to cover the cost of Medicare-eligible services and medications.
#3: RECALIBRATE RETIREMENT
Injured claimants can choose to begin receiving settlement funds immediately, or in some cases, well into the future. Creating a guaranteed nest egg with a structured settlement annuity provides a level of comfort that can’t be matched by traditional retirement vehicles.
Plaintiff attorneys can utilize non-qualified structured settlements to fund their attorney fee deferrals. They’re easier to set up than a 401(k) or a defined benefit plan, and taxes aren’t due until the payments are received. Specific options also allow attorneys to use a professional fund manager or their financial advisor.
#4: PREVENT EMOTIONAL SPENDING
Introducing a large lump sum of cash to a stressful environment isn’t wise. A structured settlement annuity can provide monthly, bi-annual, or annual tax-advantaged guaranteed payments. In some instances, a settlement preservation trust may be a practical option. A settlement preservation trust provides the beneficiary with the money needed to cover necessities while preserving the settlement.
#5: PLAN PROACTIVELY
During these uncertain times, your settlement consultant is a valuable resource for helping you, your firm, and your clients thrive. From determining the claimant’s needs and proactively resolving issues to participating in mediation and ensuring that the settlement agreement includes the appropriate language, your settlement consultant is here to help your cases run smoothly.
Contact Sage Settlement Consulting Today
We are here to help you and your clients create the best solutions for long-term financial success. Contact your Sage consultant today.