Publisher Law Journal Press anticipates a late October 2012 distribution date for hardcopy supplements for Release 52 of "Structured Settlements and Periodic Payment Judgments" (S2P2J). Online S2P2J will also be updated late October 2012 to include Release 52 materials. First published in 1986, S2P2J is co-authored and updated semi-annually by Daniel W. Hindert, Joseph J. Dehner and Patrick J. Hindert. Both the National Structured Settlement Trade Association (NSSTA) and the Society of Settlement Planners (SSP) utilize S2P2J as an educational resource for their certification programs.
Release 52 Highlights
Documenting a structured settlement is generally more complicated than the paper work involved with a lump sum settlement. Structured settlement documentation can be further complicated depending upon the number of claimants and annuities, whether plaintiff attorneys defer their fees, the need to allocate damages, the degree of government benefit planning and the growing integration of annuities and trusts into blended products.
Increasingly, therefore, the parties to a structured settlement agreement must endeavor to implement complex settlement plans, using multiple funding devices, designed to address both the intent of the parties and compliance and accountability requirements from the public sector.
To assist structured settlement participants in achieving these objectives, S2P2J Release 52 features new sample structured settlement forms with suggested alternate clauses for use as circumstances change. The new sample forms include a model Structured Settlement Agreement, with a Supplemental Schedule to more conveniently address funding details, plus an optional Advisory Disclosure document specifying the involvement, services and commission sharing (if any) of structured settlement consultants used by the claimant, defendant and liability insurer(s).The Supplemental Schedule provides a useful, alternative format for specifying the funding details of the settlement, including:
- The amount of up-front payments and their recipients.
- The cost to purchase funding for the periodic payments.
- A provision if the claimant’s attorney will receive periodic payments.
- Allocations by the parties between tax-free and taxable payments.
- Amount of monthly payments and whether they will extend for the claimant’s lifetime or for the greater of claimant’s lifetime or a set period of time.
- Any deferred lump sums to be paid.
- Contingent payee provisions in case payments remain due after claimant’s death.
- Provisions needed for minor’s or protected person’s settlements.
- Specific payee designations, including post office addresses or account information for electronic deposits.
- Designation of attorneys to be paid and at what address or to what account number.
- Language used to permit or disallow later transfers of periodic payment rights.
To help explain these new structured settlement forms, the authors have added extensive related commentary discussing how to create enforceable structured settlement agreements that minimize the risk of post-closing issues.
Release 52 also features a comprehensive update of the Executive Life of New York (ELNY) liquidation plus new and/or expanded analyses for the following structured settlement industry issues and case developments:
- International use of structured settlements.
- Whether defendants save money, historically and currently, using structured settlements.
- New Treasury regulations for IRC section 104(a)(2).
- Allocating settlement proceeds between taxable and tax-exempt elements.
- How special needs trusts can prevent private health care organizations from obtaining subrogation reimbursements from SNT beneficiaries.
- New case law addressing structured settlements for minors issues.
- Bankruptcy court decisions analyzing whether and when a bankruptcy trustee can access structured settlement benefits.
- New cases addressing differences between state periodic payment of judgment statutes that do and do not include termination provisions.
- The State of Washington's new Claims Resolution Structured Settlement Agreement for workers compensation cases.
- The new CMS Medicare Secondary Payer Recovery Portal offering authorized users access and the ability to update pending case information.
- Secondary market case update including:
- Approval and denial of transfers based upon the "best interest" and "fair and reasonable" tests.
- Whether a structured attorney fee is subject to the state structured settlement protection statutes.
For highlights of prior "Structured Settlements and Periodic Payment Judgments" updates, see the structured settlement wiki.