Workers’ Comp and Estate Planning

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When a person suffers a job-related injury or illness, it can have a deep impact on their life and the lives of their family. Depending on the severity of the injury, the future can become very uncertain and whatever plans the family may have made could need to be changed.

When an injured employee accepts a final settlement, there are many aspects of the victim’s finances that may need to be addressed. A workers’ comp settlement can have an impact on a person’s Social Security benefits by reducing the amount they receive if the correct documentation is not provided. Your workers’ comp attorney can discuss how this works and how you may be able to minimize any reduction in benefits.

A settlement may also affect any estate planning plans the victim has in place. There are some issues that may need to be addressed and plans that may need to change. An attorney can examine the current plans and offer suggestions on what changes – if any – would be beneficial. If the victim does not currently have any estate plans in place, then putting some in place when they receive their settlement.

There are many work-related injuries that result in the victim being left permanently disabled and their settlement provides income for the rest of their life since they are unable to work. An estate plan will make sure that once the victim dies, those funds will still be available to take care of their family.

But what happens if the victim dies as a result of the work-related injury? In some states, the family may still be able to receive a death benefit. Keep in mind, however, if the victim dies from something that is not related to the work injury, then the family may not be able to pursue the death benefit. A workers’ compensation can explain what the rules are in the state you live in and which ones are applicable to your case.

Settlement vs. Lifetime Benefits

When it comes to settlements, a seasoned workers’ comp attorney may advise a client to take a lump sum settlement over taking payments for the rest of their life. Although most insurance companies prefer injured workers to settle, having a skilled attorney can ensure the worker will receive a fair and just settlement.

The problem with lifetime benefits is that there is no way to predict the future. As mentioned above, once the victim dies, if the cause of their death was something other than the work injury or illness, the lifetime benefit stops. This means that there will no longer be that income coming in for the victim’s spouse or family.

Imagine a scenario where the victim decides to take lifetime benefits and a few months later, the victim is killed in a car accident. The victim would have only received a minimum amount of money for an injury that may have been worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. But the benefit stops upon the victim’s death, leaving the family with nothing. With a settlement, the victim can be assured that their family will be provided for even after they are gone. In the event you need legal advice, do not hesitate and contact a professional workers compensation lawyer Memphis TN relies on to ensure that you are receiving all of the benefits you need.

 

Thank you to Darrell Castle and Associates, PLLC for providing insight workers’ compensation.