In today's segment of Speaking of Settlements, I review the Allstate Financial structured legal fee, or structure attorney fee, program and several of the elements that make it so unique in the structured settlement industry.
First, Allstate is the originator of the non-qualified structured settlement, which in and of itself is a very unique distinction. Non-qualified refers to the fact that it is for taxable damage cases as opposed to tax free damage cases, or those covered under IRC section 104(a)(2). Several years back Allstate pioneered the development of being able to structure, or spread out, taxable damage awards over time and while they earned interest and remain one of the leaders in this major area of litigation. The Allstate International Assignments special purpose corporation, formed to handle these unique transactions, remains one of the leaders in this area nationally.
Allstate's expertise in this area has also spilled over to the structured legal fees, where they are one of the very few life insurance companies that are willing to structure fees on both taxable and non-taxable damage cases, a fact that greatly expands the potential cases an attorney can defer and plan around. As you will see in this video, or by visiting the Allstate International Assignments web page, the underwriting restrictions are relatively modest and what you'd expect to see in these transactions, and cover a wide range of structured legal fee cases. A quick summary would include:
1. Allstate will do stand alone structured legal fees on both taxable and non-taxable cases.
2. Allstate requires a hold harmless letter and the beneficiary option selected is irrevocable under current standards, something to keep in mind.
3. Allstate will pay to the individual attorney or a partnership, but will not pay structured legal fees on referral fees for attorney's on a case.
In short, as with all structured legal attorney fees, you need to work with a trained, competent structured settlement expert that has all available markets, current underwriting requirements and is able to match up your needs and situation to the right company. However, for taxable damage cases where lawyers have here to fore not thought of structuring their fee, this program opens up some amazing options for tax deferral, retirement planning and cash flow planning for lawyers and partnerships in a wide range of cases.
To learn more about structured legal fees or to view more of this series, go to Mark Wahlstrom's web page at www.wahlstromandassociates.com.