How Should You Manage a Case Settlement?
You've won. It's a moment of relief and vindication that you have looked forward to for a long time. And while it's normal to have visions of spending sprees and big-ticket purchases, it's vital to take a deep breath, curb those urges, and take things slow. When it comes to your case settlement, the following are some things we strongly recommend our clients do in the days, weeks, and months following the arrival of their settlement award.
1. Lock the money up. No matter how large or small your case settlement, lock it up tight right away. As soon as you "come into money," friends, family, coworkers, and friends of friends will come out of the woodwork and need money. The best way to handle this is with a polite refusal and to deposit your settlement award into a bank account with only your name on it. Only after you complete the following steps should you consider giving money to those who genuinely need financial assistance.
2. Meet with your accountant. While most settlements are non-taxable, you will want to confirm that you won't owe the taxman money when you go to file. Your accountant can also review the overall state of your finances and determine how much you owe for medical bills, mortgages, etc.
3. Meet with a financial advisor. A certified financial planner is as invaluable as a highly qualified doctor. While your doctor can help with your physical recovery, a financial advisor can help you heal from the financial wounds you have incurred. Suffering a significant personal injury is life-changing; it can derail career plans, retirement plans, education contributions, and more. A financial planner can help you use your settlement to maximize your potential to get those plans back on track.
4. Pay your bills. If you are like most accident victims, you will have significant medical bills and other financial liabilities to address. These are priorities, and you should pay down your debts and work with your creditors to establish payment plans, etc., so fees and penalties don't dig deeper into your wallet.
It is our pleasure to tell you about the strategies our clients have used to manage their case settlements. We encourage you to contact Welmaker Injury Law at (210) 828-6033 to schedule a free consultation to discuss your accident and potential legal recourse you can pursue in Texas.