If you have been unfortunate enough to be a victim of an injury or accident, you can claim your injury settlement to be paid to you as lump sum amount or in installments distributed over a period of time. The best thing for you to do is to consult a personal injury attorney to decide upon which option you choose.
One parameter for deciding between the two is the level of injury inflicted. If the injury is minor, the best thing to do is to opt for a lump sum amount. But, if the injury is serious in nature and requires treatment with considerable medical expenses, it is better to opt for the increasingly popular structured settlement. Most structured settlements come are paid as annuities sold by third parties, usually insurance agencies.
The benefit of taking structured settlements is they are tax free both at the state and federal level. When compared to taking a lump sum, you will find that while the sum is tax free, the income accrued from its investment-interest and dividends is not. With structured payments, the principal and any money earned from it is tax-free.
Structured settlements, though risk free come with a flip side. Once you sign on the dotted line, you cannot change your decision. You cannot change either the amount or frequency of payment, and the payment schedule is not flexible.
Also keep in mind that structured settlements do have a certain amount of risk involved with them. The best way to cushion the risk factors is that you must place the installments in protective accounts like custodial accounts.
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