Saturday, June 15, 2013, AM | 3 Comments
Whether you are just starting your court case, are waiting for your first payment to arrive, or have been receiving payments for years but are considering getting a cash out lump sum, you probably still need some basic structured settlements information. One great way to do this is to provide you with some definitions on specific terminology.
Following is a list of words and terms that you have probably heard thrown about, and perhaps understand to an extent, but which this article will clarify so you thoroughly understand this structured settlements information and we fill in any gaps for you.
What is a Structured Settlement, Really?
This is a term used when a judge awards you an amount of money, but orders that it be paid in installments rather than a lump sum. Usually such an award is structured by having the defendant fund an annuity that then pays you over a set period of time.
What is an Annuity?
An annuity is a type of investment that is sold through insurance companies. Sometimes people buy these as a way to fund their retirement; but you want structured settlements information. So for your purposes, an annuity is an investment where the plaintiff puts a large lump sum of money into the annuity and the annuity company in turn invests that money, and then sends you checks from both the principal and the interest.
What is a Beneficiary?
Most investment accounts allow you to designate a beneficiary, that is a person who would inherit your money directly if something were to happen to you; structured settlement annuities are no exception.
When your annuity is purchased you can designate who you want to get the annuity if something happens to you. It can be your child, spouse, partner, parent… anyone. You may wonder why you need to worry about this, that if you die the courts will certainly give the annuity funds to your next of kin. This is not really true.
If you die without a beneficiary being named your annuity would go to probate and much of its value would be lost in court fees. It takes almost no effort to designate a beneficiary, but also be sure to update it if your life situation changes (for example if you divorce, remarry, have children, etc.).
Who is the Structured Settlement Broker?
One important bit of structured settlements information is to know what a broker is. This is the person, also sometimes called a consultant, who researches the various annuities and annuity companies that could be purchased for you.
As it probably sounds, this is a very important person. Thus, the most important structured settlements information that we can give you is to tell you how important it is that you choose your own broker – do not just give in to the defense and use their broker, who will have their interests in mind as they shop, not yours.
What are Structured Settlement Factoring Transactions?
Some people are forced to accept a structured settlement that funds an annuity which pays them small monthly, quarterly or annual payments. These people would rather have a lump sum of money that they can do with as they see fit.
Often, a structured settlement can be sold in what is called a structured settlement factoring transaction. This is perfectly legal and just requires some paperwork. This is what we do at, we are a structured settlement factoring company that can work with you to give you a lump sum of cash and take over your annuity payments.
Is There Anything Else I Need to Know?
Actually, there is a LOT of structured settlements information that you need to know. Structured settlements are very complicated, and while selling them can be relatively pain free if you let us all do the work, there is still a lot of information that you should understand. But that’s okay, take your time.
Spend some time searching around our website. The more you read the more informed you will feel, and the more questions you will be able to ask.
- Jun 17, 2013: Structured Settlements Information: Understanding the Terminology | Selling Structured Settlement Info