How To Set Up A Structured Settlements Annuity For Accident Relief
A structured settlements annuity can act as a valuable insurance policy at a time when you are incapacitated due to an accident, but where you still have bills to pay and a life to live. The payments from this structured annuity can help you to stay solvent while you have other important matters to attend to, and can save you from further catastrophic loss at an already difficult time. The structured settlements annuity is a highly regulated financial instrument, and the money is only released following a court order.
Although there is a very high degree of control and regulation of these instruments, they are quite flexible in the way they can be made to pay out. They can pay money regularly at a time decided upon by the annuity owner, or at irregular times if it is known that there will be a need for the money at a certain time. It can even provide lump sum payments if there is a stipulation for it. The payments can last for the duration of the life of the annuity owner, but they cannot be made to anyone else. If there is money left to be paid at death, it will go into the deceased's estate.
When this happens, the money does become liable for taxation under the estate laws, but still not to income taxation. Payments made during the natural life of a structured annuity will never be subject to tax, as they are made as part of a court order. It is possible for the owner of an annuity to become liable for income tax on the payments, but only by making a serious mistake. If the terms of the payments are altered after the agreement has been made, then they are deemed to be made outside of the court order.
Although structured settlements annuity contracts are rigidly regulated, there is a lot of freedom as to how they can be structured when they are set up. Although the payments normally start between one and three months after the court order is made, there is no requirement for this to happen. If the annuity owner has relatives or other potential sources of support, there will be a case for deferring the start of payments for some time.
It is also possible to vary the length of time for which the payments are made, and how many payments are made in any given period of time. If you have other sources of income which will continue even in the case of an accident, it will be a good idea to reduce the frequency of the payments so that they continue for longer. Make sure these details are worked out with your legal adviser. In most states, legal representation is necessary, but even where it is not, it is strongly advisable. A professional will be able to get you the best possible structured settlements annuity.
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