What Structured Fees Can Do
Attorneys have benefited from structuring fees to accomplish some of the following goals:
Plan For College
The flexibility inherent in structured fees allows an attorney to receive scheduled payments when needed most. Unlike most institutionalized or state sponsored college plans, structures have no restrictions on how the money is spent, how much money can be set aside, or the school selected.
As tort reform has become more prevalent across the country, it has become even more difficult to secure successful settlements. A plaintiff attorney’s income may dramatically fluctuate predicated upon many factors. With that in mind, structuring a fee can provide a dependable, fixed future income for routine expenses like office overhead or funding for lengthy cases. Best of all, it provides reliable payments regardless of market conditions.
Goals Within the Firm
Creative plans can meet a variety of business goals. With a potential retirement of a partner, a structured fee can assist with a potential buy-out. An attorney can also use a structured fee as a bonus plan for an associate within the firm, tying future compensation to continued employment and ensuring that the associate remains with the firm. Most importantly, attorneys or law firms can effectively achieve the results of a qualified pension plan without the annual administrative and regulatory burden required of employee benefit plans.
Structuring an attorney fee can create a source of supplemental retirement income that can provide an additional measure of security. Additionally, there are no restrictions on when a structure can begin to make payments, allowing an attorney to opt for early retirement. Lastly, a fee can also assist with estate planning, providing a guaranteed source of income for a spouse or family members upon death.
Dollar Cost Averaging
A structured attorney fee can be a great tool for funding an equity account. Structuring a fee to pay into a brokerage account on a regular basis can allow an attorney to invest in a consistent and disciplined manner. This concept, called dollar cost averaging, helps to avoid the adverse affects of market volatility. If the market increases steadily, it is possible to invest at a lower cost per share than the average price per share. Since the monthly investment stays constant, more shares are purchased at lower prices and fewer shares at higher prices.
Structuring your attorney fee allows you to reduce tax exposure, while at the same time securing an extremely competitive rate of return on a guaranteed basis.
Dollar cost averaging does not assure a profit and does not protect against a loss in declining markets. This strategy involves continuous investing; you should consider your financial ability to continue purchases no matter how prices fluctuate.