How do I obtain a court order to release 2 remanning annuity payments?

I have a structured settlement annuity that has 2 more lump sum payments remaining. I was informed by the insurance company that the only way they would consider releasing any of the funds is if they were to receive a court order. How to I go about this? What does something like that cost? The total lump sum is less than 50K; is it worth it?

Asked on March 8, 2016 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The process of getting funds is not that complicated.  It only requires the filing of a petition and getting a hearing set....and then drafting a final order.  The cost effectiveness really depends on any clauses in the annuity which may require the forfeiture of any funds because of the early withdraw and the tax consquences of obtaining the annuity early.  So... you need to visit with an accountant and an attorney.  The accountant will tell you how much the early withdrawal will cost you financially.  The attorney can tell you the fees for filing the petition and getting a hearing set.  The costs for filing will be the filing fee and the going rate for attorneys in your jurisdiction... so there is not a 'pure' standard rate that anyone can give you.  Visit with more than one attorney to get a better feel for what is considered average.  Many attorenys offer free consultations.... so take advantage of the consults to get a better idea of the going rate in your area.  The drafting of a petition shouldn't take more than a couple of billable hours.  Attending court could be 30 minutes of 4 hours depending on the court's docket on the day you go to court.   The drafting of a final order will depend on the complexity of the court's ruling.  It could run from one billable hour to four billable hours.  So... take the hours and multiply them times the rate any attorney charges in your area... and that will give you and idea of the costs.


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