Our unique settlement trusts are elite and the standard by which settlement trusts should be judged. We provide objectively more service while saving clients money. We’ve developed relationships with various financial advisors, trustees and trust attorneys to ensure we match each client with the best team for them. We treat each case as individual and custom and can offer trust protector services for all of our trust clients.
Many clients decide to set up trusts in order to better and more safely manage their assets. By placing the settlement funds into a trust, plaintiffs’ funds are afforded protections and resources within the trust that they would not have otherwise. Trusts allow a safe barrier from outside risks, and create a safehaven of flexibility, tax advantages and estate planning.
Trusts provide various levels of asset protection from would be creditors such as medicaid in Special Needs Trusts. In addition to market based investments and bonds, most trusts can hold houses and other property and pay caregivers, which can often provide tax benefits and ease the administrative load for a family.
Our team has developed partnerships with several elite trustees and investment advisors over the years. This experience is invaluable in guiding plaintiffs and these relationships result in more choice, talent and service for clients. We are able to select from multiple vetted options to assemble a trust team that includes the drafting attorney to supply the written document, a managing trustee specifically suitable and on call to meet your individual needs and an expert financial/investment advisor, all of whom are independent of one another. When you add Byrd Settlements as the professional trust protector, you have 3 separate parties providing oversight, checks and balances, and all of whom can be replaced if they do not perform up to expectation.
These relationships also allow us to create “internal” competition for your trust business, which is why our offerings are so hard to beat.
The most common types of Trusts we manage are Special Needs Trusts and Settlement Preservation Trusts.
Special Needs Trusts (SNTs) are designed to protect and preserve eligibility for Medicaid, SSI, SSDI, and other governmental benefits, which allow us to use the government’s programs to provide medical care, equipment, long/short term nursing/CNA care, etc., while we maximize the recovery monies for use on uncovered expenses. These are ideal for cases where a lifetime of medical needs, especially long term care, could jeopardize the longevity of the funds.
Settlement Preservation Trusts, may be a better fit in cases where the additional freedom and cost of private insurance is more appealing than the governmental funding which comes with restrictive parameters in an SNT. In contrast, a Settlement Preservation Trust is more flexible, because of the lack of government oversight. For clients who will likely live many years before expensive long term care, but want to make sure settlement funds last well into the future or until a minor client reaches a certain age, a preservation trust is ideal. You get a ton of help from an expert trust officer in navigating the administrative aspects of financial planning, a professional investment advisor who will work with you to make your money work for you. A preservation trust provides expert resources, a legal protective barrier around the money, allows tax planning flexibility, and can direct estate planning capable of spanning generations. Settlement Preservation Trusts can also trigger into a special needs trust, should the need arise. We almost always recommend this language be included, as it leaves the option on the table.
In both Trusts, settlement funds are protected from creditors, acquaintances or sometimes even family, who may seek access to these monies. A settlement is generally safer than it would be in a simple investment account, because the assets are not technically owned by a plaintiff, as an individual.
Trust Protector Services
In cases where a trust may be needed, we can serve as Trust Protector with any trustee and financial advisor for a nominal fee. This allows clients the means to remove and replace a trustee or financial advisor over the life of the trust, usually without the hassle of petitioning the court.
It is often as simple as selecting an already vetted alternative and notifying the previous party of their removal. In the aftermath of a settlement, clients may not realize how little leverage they have within an irrevocable trust, if they are not provided an expert trust protector.
Contrary to the common notion “you get what you pay for,” we actually ensure our cumulative 3 tier pricing including all 3 INDEPENDENT trustee, investment advisor, and protector is less than the typical 1-2 party trust. More service, more competition, more flexibility…all at a lower price. This is what we mean by “Plaintiff-First Pricing.”