The financial planning journal

Receiving a personal injury award? Top five things to think about…

29 November 2021

Personal injury awards usually come about in an already challenging and difficult time. As well as you and your family going through a life-changing event, and potentially being dragged through endless court proceedings, you now might find yourself with complicated financial decisions to make. Here are my top five things to consider if you’ve found yourself in this position.

 

  1. Get a professional adviser involved

Do remember that any award may need to last a lifetime. The money needs to be managed effectively and the capital protected – sourcing professional help is a must. The importance of this is exacerbated if you are a deputy acting on behalf of a beneficiary. Ultimately, you have a significant amount of responsibility on your shoulders that you should be offloading to qualified individuals.

With this in mind, it’s important to find an adviser you can trust, who doesn’t lean on jargon and has experience in personal injury settlements. This is likely going to be the first time you’ve dealt with this level of wealth, so you want to be working with someone you can rely on. It’s going to be a long journey so surround yourself with the right team.

  1. Have a team involved in the process early on

The most effective personal injury awards are usually the ones where a solicitor has been working together with a financial adviser from the outset. There are a fair few things to consider that could impact the level of award you might receive

  • Is there a significant loss of earnings?
  • Will this result in a large reduction to the beneficiary’s future pension?
  • How much capital and growth is required to make changes to the home and provide for ongoing care?

There are a few moving parts and it’s easy to trip up. Fail to assess the above correctly and it could mean there’s an under settlement of your claim.

  1. Find an adviser with experience in detailed cashflow modelling

Understanding how all these numbers fit together can be quite confusing. Cashflow modelling can help you to visualise what’s needed and support any difficult decisions you might have to make.

  1. Find an adviser who can assist with BOTH financial planning and investment management

There are a number of tax considerations, which means a financial planner is vital but the money will also need to be invested to a high standard. It’s going to make your life a great deal easier if you have one point of contact that can meet all of your needs.

  1. Involve your friends and wider family

Remember, this can be an overwhelming process and there is no reason to struggle in silence. As well as a great professional team, it’s important to make the most of your personal team too.

So if you, or someone you know, has had a life-changing event and you’re struggling to get on top of things, work your way through my five top areas and I promise things will become easier for you.

 

Saltus Financial Planning Ltd is authorised and regulated by the financial conduct authority. Information is correct to the best of our understanding as at the date of publication. Nothing within this content is intended as, or can be relied upon, as financial advice. Capital is at risk. You may get back less than you invested.

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