What can I do? An Alternative Option for Structured Settlement Awards

Whether you are in the midst of a lawsuit or have recently concluded one with a settlement, you might now be questioning if you have an alternative option for structured settlement.

It has become commonplace for lawsuits that are settled out of court to provide the award through a structured settlement via an annuity. This option for structured settlement provides the recipient with periodic stable payments for a long duration. It ensures a future income and often offers the benefit of tax exemption. The benefits of this type of arrangement make it appealing to the legal community and plaintiffs.

But each individual plaintiff has his or her own opinion about his or her own needs and future. It might be helpful to know that you do have an option for structure settlement awards.


If your lawsuit has not settled yet, but there are offers on the table, you might be inclined to take a settlement offer. Before you do however, be sure that the structured settlement that the defendant has offered you, suits you. Likely an annuity, this award could suit you well as long as the terms match your interests. Discuss the details of this option for structured settlement with your lawyer as well as your financial advisor. Make sure it aligns with your future goals. If not, ask your lawyer to renegotiate until you are satisfied with your offer.


If you have accepted a settlement, but now realize that the option for structured settlement that was chosen does not match your current or future financial needs, consider selling the annuity. While there are benefits and pitfalls to selling a structured settlement, it could be that the positives outweigh the negatives.

You can sell your annuity on the secondary market through an annuity broker. By using a qualified agent and following the process defined by your state, you can legally change your settlement and find an alternative financial strategy that matches your goals.


Find an annuity broker through a referral from a friend, insurance agent, or financial advisor. Provide the details of your annuity policy to the buyer. The buyer will calculate the current value of your future payments and determine mutually beneficial terms for the purchase of your structured settlement.

Once you have agreed on an option for structure settlement funds, the buyer will begin the proceedings with the state court in your jurisdiction. All but three states require a court to approve the sale and have a strict process. This process protects you, the seller, from unethical structured settlement purchasers.

The process for the sale takes about eight weeks. Once the court has given approval, the purchaser will provide you with the agreed amount of funds. You will then be able to put your alternative option for structured settlement to work for you. Be aware that there might be tax ramifications to this transaction...if not from the sale of the structured settlement, then possibly from the investment of the new funds. Be sure to consult with a tax professional.

Direct Settlement can help put that alternative option for structure settlement award to work for you. Contact a Direct Settlement representative to learn about the process in your state.

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