As with just about everything, structured settlements have both advantages and disadvantages. One key advantage is the tax benefits associated with a properly set-up settlement. An appropriately set-up structured settlement could very well reduce the plaintiff’s tax obligations. In some cases the settlement could avoid taxes altogether.
Another advantage is that the structured settlement could also prevent a plaintiff from splurging all their money all at once. In this way, the structured settlement could be a sort of financial control. Instead of getting the money all at once and risking spending much of it on unnecessary or unwise transactions, a structured settlement’s periodic payments will help the plaintiff with paying for necessary costs before they spend the money on other things.
However, this advantage could very well be seen as a disadvantage to many. Some people want to make big purchases, such as a car or home, and may prefer a large one-time lump sum payment to periodic payments. Even if they do not have desires for expensive purchases, some people may just feel that they would do better if they were able to invest their money themselves.
Essentially, for those who might have a difficult time managing a large sum of money, structured settlements offer a simple and helpful way to avoid dissipating the cash recklessly. However, for claimants who are able to manage money well on their own, the periodic payments may be an annoyance.