Can an Award from a Personal Injury Settlement Be Included in Estate Planning?

An accident caused by negligence can have potentially serious long term and even permanent significance. When such an unexpected injury occurs, it can change how you plan for the future. According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), these are the statistics for causes of personal injury cases:

  •         Product liability accounts for 5% of personal injury cases.
  •         medical malpractice account for 15% of personal injury cases.
  •         motor vehicle accidents account for 52% of personal injury cases.
  •         28% were resulting from other causes.

Injuries vary from mild to severe and besides the emotional toll of pain and suffering, physical injuries can require lasting medical treatment. After an injury, the best move for a victim is to understand their options to protect themselves legally and financially. Hiring a personal injury attorney will help the victim determine the best course of legal action to protect their rights as well as decide how to proceed in seeking compensation for their injuries.

Deciding Damages

The award from a personal injury settlement is dependent on the type of accident and injuries you sustained. Most states have placed caps on personal injury settlements so a victim cannot ask for an unreasonable amount for compensation. In some states, victims of a personal injury caused by a car crash are sometimes awarded compensation if they suffer an economic loss above 50 thousand dollars.

Including Your Settlement in Your Estate Plan

You can absolutely include your personal injury settlement in your estate. It can be pretty complicated, so it is best to hire an estate planning attorney to assist you in the process. They can make the process a bit smoother by handling all the legal nuances and ensure that the estate plan is legally sound. It could be a great asset to leave for your children or heirs after you pass and including it in a well-documented plan will help clarify the distribution.

The Benefit of an Estate Planning Lawyer

Life is uncertain, and change can come quickly and unexpectedly. An accident resulting in a serious injury can force someone to reevaluate what they want to leave behind for their friends and loved ones when they pass. Making an arrangement including details distributing your settlement can be extremely beneficial to your heirs and allow no room for confusion. An estate planner can also ensure that your estate doesn’t garner unnecessary taxes. Discuss your options and plan your estate with a professional attorney today such as the estate planning attorney Scottsdale AZ who specializes in Probate and Estate.


Thanks to authors at Arizona Estate Attorneys for their insight into Estate Planning.