The American Association of Settlement Consultants (AASC) is an industry advocacy group committed to a vibrant, strong, and modern settlement planning industry. We promote collaboration within the structured settlement industry, actively encourage balanced settlement planning on behalf of our clients, and believe in integrated, common sense solutions that protect the needs of injured people and their families. Together, we work for public policies that strengthen our essential industry and provide benefits to the consumer.
For most Americans, the structured settlement only comes into their life in a crisis. More often than not, it is a lifeline to long-term quality of life.
This stable financial tool is widely used by both defendants and plaintiffs when settling cases, and both sides can benefit from their use in finalizing settlements. The settlement consultant is a state-licensed professional who works with injured individuals and families, the parties in settlements and their attorneys, and serves the vital function of planning and structuring the settlement. It is the job of the consultant to ensure that a portion of the settlement is transformed into a long-term plan that the injured individual and their family can rely on in the future. It can be an emotional and trying time and it is the settlement consultant’s job to steer a clear course through the process.
The American Association of Settlement Consultants was formed to support these vital advisors and to promote a greater understanding and usage of this important tool and find ways to extend the advantages of the structured settlement to more key groups.
Often, it is the lack of awareness among key players in the process that prevents the plaintiff/claimant from the opportunity of utilizing a structured settlement. Structured settlement annuities should always be a cornerstone because they meet the guaranteed fixed needs of clients. In addition, coupling the structured settlement with other financial products, the AASC believes there will be more opportunities for our settlement consultants that will result in further growth in the traditional structured settlement fixed annuity marketplace. Expanding our product base offers more opportunities for consultants to recommend appropriate financial products.
Members of the AASC will join partners of the trade intelligence, evaluate case studies, learn from legends, further develop our settlement planning strategies, and discuss how to incorporate new product platforms into our practices. We will also pursue public policies that protect settlement recipients and grow the settlement industry.
As we formulate our agenda, a few priorities become clear.
Structured settlements must continue to be protected by Congress.
Attorneys, judges, guardians ad litem, mediators, casualty insurance companies, qualified settlement fund administrators, disability groups and other industry stakeholders need to be better educated about the value of modern structured settlement plans.
Presenting a structured settlement to a client should be the best practice for attorneys. If a plaintiff attorney does not educate their client about the risks of premature dissipation with a lump sum and the long-term value of a structured settlement, then the client loses their one-time opportunity to receive lifetime tax-free or tax-deferred income.
Structured settlements need to be utilized in more situations. Examples Include:
- When the federal government or state governments settle claims, they should retain a structured settlement consultant to assist them in offering a structured settlement.
- When mass tort cases settle, structured settlement consultants should be allowed to provide proposals to the injured people and their families.
- When professional athletes and entertainers receive endorsement contracts or large signing bonuses, they should be able to utilize an income tax-deferred structured settlement to safeguard their income and provide long-term financial security.
- As college athletes monetize their names or likenesses, income tax-deferred structured settlements should be offered to safeguard their income and provide long-term financial security.
The AASC promises to be at the forefront of this movement. The benefits to plaintiffs and defendants should extend to wider groups of people in need.
The benefits of structured settlements lie at the heart our mission: to bring the modern structured settlement process into the light for the benefit of more Americans.
The American Association of Settlement Consultants (AASC) is headquartered at:
700 13th Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20005