Experience, football, and qualified settlement funds

Sports fans heaved a collective sigh of relief last week. The National Football League and its players agreed to end the owners’ lockout and get back to playing football. A flurry of lucrative veteran contact signings quickly followed.

NFL teams have renewed interest in the veterans for several reasons. One is that the rookies, under the new agreement, will get far less money in their initial contracts than the veterans. The new agreement provides many incentives for teams to reward their most experienced players. Clearly, the league recognizes the experience, maturity and skill the veterans bring to their teams.

A qualified settlement fund is no different—a veteran brings experience and perspective that are not available from a QSFs rookie. As a distinct tax and legal entity, a QSF only provides its many benefits if it is properly and continuously administered.

The country’s leading QSF authority, Robert Wood of the Porter and Wood law firm, started a continuing legal education seminar with this reminder:

“The vast majority of QSFs that I see are fouled up. And by fouled up I mean the documents are bad, the oversight by the trustee or administrator is either bad or inappropriate, the accounting is bad or inappropriate, the follow through once the money is paid out is poor. Very frequently I get asked a question something like, ‘Wait a minute, you mean I’ve got to file a tax return for that thing?’, or ‘… I just thought that once the money was gone, nobody cared …’ ”

“… But I would just tell you, that the way to make your life easy, and to not have problems with these things is to do them right, and to be organized about it … have a checklist of procedures, and to follow through.”

I am sure that, in the cases he mentions, there was nothing sinister at work But unintentional errors are still errors. Accuracy, attention to detail and thoroughness have no substitutes when it comes to proper administration of qualified settlement funds.

Our consultants have managed qualified settlement funds for cases with as few as six beneficiaries, and as many as 150,000. We’ve calculated settlement awards with individual payments from under $100 to over $3 million. We’ve calculated the value of thousands of awards and overseen the distribution of a total of $4.5 billion. With us, your settlement is neither too big nor too small, and the unique demands of your Fund will be met in full.

And there is no substitute for experience.

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               Lordan CPA | Eden Prairie, Minnesota | chris@murraycamp.com | 952 698 2044

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