If you’ve ever wondered what would happen to your structured settlement payments in the event of your death – you’re not alone. This exact question is one we often get from annuitants who are seeking information in hopes to protect their family’s financial future. What happens to your payments when you pass away depends entirely on how your structured settlement was set up.
If a structured settlement is set up to only pay the annuitant (you) contingent on the fact that the annuitant is still alive, the payments will stop when the annuitant dies. This is common in structured settlements; however, there are also cases where a beneficiary can be named for structured settlement payments.
Guaranteed Payments: Structured Settlements can contain a period of payments that are guaranteed to the annuitant. This period can vary in its length; however, these payments will be made to the annuitant until this period ends. In the event that the annuitant dies, the payments will be made to the annuitant’s estate or to a named beneficiary.
Joint and Survivor Benefit: Structured settlements containing a ‘Joint and Survivor Benefit’ make payments to the annuitant as negotiated but have a beneficiary listed (such as a child or a spouse) to receive the payments in the event that the annuitant dies.
Commutation Rider: Structured settlements with a ‘Commutation Rider’ list a beneficiary to receive a discounted lump sum payment instead of the total remaining payments from the settlement. The beneficiary would receive this lump sum after the annuitant has passed away.
Knowing the specifics of your structured settlement and what happens to your money in the event of your death is important. If you were to unexpectedly pass away and your payments were to disappear, would your family be able to provide for themselves?
Even if your structured settlement is currently set up in a way that wouldn’t allow you to name a beneficiary for your payments, we may be able to help you establish a legacy fund for your family. Call today to learn more about your options as a structured settlement annuitant and how you can protect your family’s financial future.