Life Contingent Payments from an Inherited Annuity- Understanding the Docs
From time to time we will get a call from an individual that has inherited a structured settlement annuity. The inheritance usually comes from the death of a family member- although like many assets, a person can bequest the remaining value of their annuity structured settlement to any person they like (in most cases). Often times it is a child that inherited the structured settlement from a parent and in other unfortunate situations it is a structured settlement that was payable to a child/minor and inherited by a parent.
Since the person that contacts us with an inherited structured settlement is not the original annuitant, they are often not as familiar with the benefits due under the annuity. In rare circumstances, the person may know that they inherited the structured settlement or are supposed to get the rights to the remaining balance in the annuity but are not entirely sure what is left to be paid by the life insurance carrier. We are happy to talk to you about the circumstances surrounding your inheritance and if need be facilitate you getting the information you need to determine what you are actually entitled to.
Keep in mind that during the course of the original annuitant’s lifetime, he or she may have previously sold or assigned a portion of the structured settlement for a lump sum. Through court records and in some cases, through speaking with the annuity issuer, we are able to get you information about what if anything was sold during the annuitants lifetime and what remains. This is a first good step and you may already have this information from the probate matter or as a result of receiving an updated benefits letter from the annuity company.
If you are looking at the annuity contract itself, or the underlying settlement agreement or qualified assignment, you may see reference to “payable for life” or “life contingent payments”. These payments are different than the guaranteed ones in that they cease being made (or never get made) once the annuitant passes away. Consequently, if you have inherited a structured settlement and the annuity documents refer to “life contingent structured settlement payments” that the annuity company guaranteed to make, you should note that the death of the original payee of the structured settlement resulted in the termination of the annuity issuers obligation. This may be slightly confusing but a careful review of the documents and understanding the nature of life contingent payments will bring clarify. We are happy to further elaborate and explain.
Contact Us About Life Contingent Structured Settlement Payments or Inherited Annuities at 800-317-3769.