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Estate planning after a personal injury settlement

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2022 | Estate Planning

After an automobile accident, a victim in the greater Dayton and Cincinnati areas will no doubt first and foremost want to settle their personal injury claim.

No doubt they will feel a great deal of relief after they have signed the agreements, especially if there is every indication that the insurance carrier will pay.

During this process, a victim and the victim’s family may overlook the importance of updating estate plans, but this step is important in order to make sure this settlement money benefits the victim and the family as much as possible. Estate planning is especially important when the settlement is large and intended to cover a victim’s expenses and losses for several years going forward. No one would want to see funds from a settlement spent on probate costs or other costs and expenses that can largely be avoided through careful planning.

How the settlement funds are paid

It is not a bad idea for a victim to start thinking about long-term planning even when they are negotiating with an insurance company.

In many circumstances, rather than collecting settlement funds upfront, victims will want the insurance company to pay their claims through a structured settlement annuity, or over time in some other fashion. Agreeing to take payments over time may give a victim important tax advantages as they try to preserve wealth and pass it down to their loved ones.

As part of the estate planning process, victims will also need to decide what to do with their money once they receive it. Especially if the victim is a minor or elderly or ill, it may be necessary to set up a guardianship under Ohio law to ensure funds are properly managed.

In other cases, setting up a trust or doing some other more complicated estate planning may be the best course of action.