In a long awaited move, MetLife has announced some significant improvements in their structured legal fee annuity offerings. These moves make some technical modifications that improve beneficiary options, but more importantly will allow for life time payments for attorneys on their legal fee.
The changes are as follows:
1. Attorney's are no longer limited in their ability to name specific beneficiaries. The attorney can now name his or her spouse and or children as beneficiary. Prior to this change it was required that the attorney name either their estate or law firm as the beneficiary of any remaining payments. The prior policy was a big sticking point with many lawyers over the years and this expanded language is a helpful upgrade.
2. Previously the beneficiary designation was irrevocable, now the designation is revocable and as such much more flexible from an estate and business planning stand point. The prior rule was a deal killer with most lawyers and led to a lot of structured legal fee's going to other markets.
3. Structured legal fee's can now be paid for the life of the attorney, a substantial benefit as lawyers look for ways to secure long term structured income that they can not out live or outspend.
These changes are coupled with the existing benefits such as stand alone legal fee options and the strength of having Met Life Tower Resources as the guarantor of the payments.
Now if we could only get more life markets besides Liberty Life and Allstate to start writing stand alone structured legal fee's on non-qualified cases, which is an area where there is huge potential over the next three to five years. Liberty Life and Allstate are way ahead of the pack in this area and it continues to amaze me that the other life markets have simply conceded this market to these two firms.