Reaching a settlement or jury award is only the first step in your family’s journey. Once a case has been resolved, many children with disabilities continue to live with complex health needs. Managing your child’s settlement intelligently, and maximizing the long-term support that a substantial recovery can provide, is of the utmost importance.
Our birth injury attorneys often rely on the expertise of Milestone Consulting, a comprehensive settlement planning and management company, to ensure that our clients’ unique needs are met long after their lawsuits have ended.
Comprehensive Risk Assessment
Understanding your child’s individual financial needs, both immediate and long-term, is crucial. In order to guide your family through the numerous financial solutions that are available, Milestone’s experienced settlement planners will first create an accurate risk analysis, bearing both current needs and future goals in mind.
Milestone’s experienced settlement planners also work closely with life care planners to determine how the numerous financial strategies on offer can best safeguard an individual child’s health and well-being, taking both current medical best practices and potential future breakthroughs into account.
Customized Investment Portfolios
After a settlement amount has been determined, careful planning is required to ensure against financial risks. Striking a balance between trusts, investments and insurance is critical to safeguard the long-term viability of assets. Milestone works closely with each client to shape a customized investment portfolio, relying on the best money managers to protect your child’s settlement through conservative solutions that create steady income without sacrificing long-term growth.
Many families, despite their best intentions, quickly deplete a settlement in attempting to meet their child’s immediate needs. In accepting a lump sum, families risk achieving their present goals, but leaving the long-term security of their child’s settlement in doubt. To complicate matters, the income generated by a lump sum settlement is taxable, depleting a child’s assets even further.
Structured settlements are an innovative approach to this problem. Families have the option to receive all or a portion of the settlement amount as a series of regular – and guaranteed – tax-free payments. Better yet, a structured settlement annuity’s payment schedule can be tailored to fit a child’s ongoing medical and living needs. While structured settlements aren’t right for everyone, they can be an effective choice for families who value long-term security.
Government Benefits Planning
Many children with disabilities rely on government assistance programs, including Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income, for essential health care services and day-to-day living expenses. Ensuring that a child remains eligible for these benefits in the future is crucial, but securing a substantial settlement can quickly threaten these means-tested benefit programs. Only after taking your child’s eligibility for means-tested government assistance into account can an appropriate settlement plan be formulated.
Special Needs Trusts
Many families choose to establish a Special Needs Trust, which are specifically designed to allow people with disabilities to benefit from the proceeds of a settlement – without losing essential government services. Milestone Consulting helps families connect with the right tax planning experts to identify the best financial vehicle for their unique needs.
In addition, Milestone’s team of experts will ensure that your child’s financial solutions remains in compliance with state and federal regulations for the lifetime of his or her settlement plan. Milestone can also prove instrumental in selecting the right trust attorney and trustee, steps just as important as identifying the appropriate trust for your child’s needs and goals.