Registry of Settlement Planners
The Registered Settlement Planner (RSP) designation is a professional designation
awarded by the Registry of Settlement Planners (the Registry). The designation is
awarded to those settlement planners who meet the high standards required of
professional settlement planners and agree to abide by the ethical standards adopted by the Registry.
The Mission of the Registry…
To train, educate and certify settlement planning professionals who are uniquely qualified to competently and ethically assist injury victims, claimants and attorneys in resolving their legal financial claims. To further this mission the RSP Board will seek to promote recognition and awareness of the mark and to establish standards of competence and
practice for the Registry.
Goals of the Registry:
1) Ensure that settlement planners provide competent, timely advice to clients. 2) Provide attorneys with assurance that their selected advisor meet is competent and
abides by a code of ethics. 3) Provide a measure of accountability to settlement planning practitioners. 4) Set a standard of practice to enable clients and attorneys to know what to expect
from a relationship with a settlement planner.
The role of the settlement planner is to help a client use his or her settlement proceeds to attain their financial goals. The settlement planner guides the client through the financial decisions that need to be made at settlement. Settlement planning often involves helping to avoid loss of government entitlements while protecting the client’s recovery from
defense interference, dissipation risk, taxes, liens and other hazards. The settlement planner must coordinate these efforts other professionals including the plaintiff’s legal
team, special needs trust attorneys, trust officers, CPAs, and others. Settlement planning most often occurs within a unique and pressure-packed planning environment where
clients must make decisions likely to impact the rest of their lives. This environment places a premium on the ability of the planner to focus on the client’s goals and needs,
make the correct recommendations, and help the client implement the plan.
Benefits of Membership
Attaining the RSP mark shows commitment to the profession of settlement planning.
The mark is awarded to individuals who have completed an advanced level of education
specifically aimed at settlement planning and settlement planning issues. Completion of the education requirement provides a settlement planner with an increased range of skills and a firm foundation in the basic knowledge required to practice planning competently. Registered Settlement Planners set themselves apart from competitors with their
educational attainment and commitment to the stringent ethical and professional
standards of conduct set forth by the RSP Board. These practitioners, by virtue of seeking the RSP, demonstrate their commitment to furthering the industry and its professionals. Members are encouraged to seek one another out and share resources and knowledge.
REQUIREMENTS TO BECOME A REGISTERED SETTLEMENT PLANNER
The Registered Settlement Planner designation is the highest standard for professional competence in settlement planning. As such, only the most qualified individuals may attain this designation.
To receive the RSP mark a candidate must have 3 years experience in settlement planning.
All applicants must have completed a Bachelors degree or have a minimum of ten years experience in settlement planning. All applicants must also pass a course of study previously approved by the RSP Board. Currently, the RSP program at Texas Tech University is the only approved curriculum. This program has two required courses, both of which will have exams. The topics included in the curriculum of these two courses include, but are not limited to:
? Introduction to Settlement Planning
? Dissipation Risk Management
? Qualified Structured Settlements
? Non-qualified Structured Settlements
? Trial Procedure and Alternative Dispute Resolution
? Claims Procedure
? Wills, Trusts & Incapacity Law
? Government Entitlement Planning
? Taxation of Legal Damages
? Insurance Concepts
? Income Taxation
? Investment Concepts
? Basic Financial Concepts
? Retirement Planning & Employment Benefits
? Estate Planning
? Reinsurance & Funding Agreements
Comprehensive Written Settlement Plan
A satisfactory written comprehensive settlement plan must be prepared by the applicant and submitted to the RSP Board upon meeting the educational requirement. The plan review committee will conduct a blind review of the plan and make a recommendation to the Board.
As part of the application process, the RSP Board shall do a background check on each applicant. Applicants are expected to exercise good faith in all of their professional relationships whether settlement planning related or otherwise.
Continuing Education Requirement
To keep Registry members abreast of the latest changes or developments in the settlement planning profession and ensure practitioner competency, the Board requires each member to participate in and report a minimum amount of continuing education (CE). Acceptable CE programs are determined by the Board and approval of credit for such programs remains at the Board’s discretion. A member’s failure to comply with the
CE standards set forth by the Board will result in suspension from Registry membership.
BECOMING A REGISTERED SETTLEMENT PLANNER
The Application Process
Candidates who have completed the education requirement are encouraged to complete an application and submit it to the RSP Board along with the application fee. The Board will then determine whether or not the candidate is eligible for the RSP mark based on the criteria set forth by the Registry’s Board. The RSP Board shall keep all applications
on file for one year beginning on the date submitted.
When submitting an application, candidates must include an application review fee of $1,000. This fee helps defray the cost of reviewing candidates’ credentials, background,
comprehensive settlement plan. It is also used to promote the mark and to assure that the RSP education requirement continues to meet the highest professional standards. In addition to the application cost, applicants must complete the required course of study through Texas Tech University. This will involve registration fees and the purchase of books and materials. Registration for each of these courses will cost $1,250 and the books and materials will cost approximately $300 per course.
September, 2007 – August, 2008
The settlement planning program is a product of collaboration between the Registry of Settlement Planners Board (RSP Board) and Texas Tech University’s Personal Financial Planning Division. The coursework is rigorous and compares to graduate-level university work. It is designed for people who have made a serious commitment to the field of comprehensive settlement planning. The program consists of three courses taken over a one-year period. Successful completion of the first two courses is required to meet the education requirement of the RSP designation. The third course is an optional case
studies course designed to provide instruction on the creation of a comprehensive
settlement plan that will meet the RSP Board’s rigorous standards.
Fall Course 1: Financial Planning and Law for Settlement Planners
This course explores the theoretical and practical environmental framework upon which settlement planning rests. In particular, the most relevant parts of the legal and financial planning environment to settlement planning will be discussed. Topics include: principles of financial planning, financial institutions, time value of money, trial procedure, property law, alternative dispute resolution, torts, wills & trusts, planning for incapacity, income and estate tax systems, investment principles, life insurance, annuities, and estate planning.
Spring Course 2: Settlement Planning Seminar
This course explores the emerging profession of settlement planning, which is defined as personal financial planning for the recipient of a legal settlement. Topics include: forecasting needs, liquidity analysis, structured settlement annuities, rated-age annuities, controlling dissipation risk, taxation issues, planning for government entitlements, medical cost inflation, asset management issues, settlement preservation trusts, basics of litigation, estate planning, Monte Carlo analysis and qualified settlement funds.
Summer Course 3: Case Studies in Settlement Planning
This course is designed to enable students to synthesize their understanding of settlement planning by producing written comprehensive settlement plans. Emphasis will be placed on integration of the knowledge for prior financial planning and settlement planning coursework into a format that documents financial, tax, special needs, government entitlement planning, estate planning, retirement benefits, dissipation risk, cash flow forecasting, and other relevant topics into an optimal settlement plan for a personal injury client. Emphasis will be placed on the needs of catastrophically injured persons.
Instructors ?Joseph Tombs, JD, MBA, CFP, ChFC, CLU, ARM ?Thomas Langdon, JD, LLM, MBA, CLU, ChFC, CFP ?David Cordell, PhD, CFA, CFP, CLU ?Vickie Hampton, PhD, CFP ?John Salter, PhD, CFP
Enrollment is limited to 30 participants on a first come, first-enrolled basis. Registration
and payment can be done online with a valid Visa or Mastercard at
http://www.ode.ttu.edu under ‘Professional Opportunities.’ Each course will cost $1,250 including all fees. If you would prefer not to register online, please fill out the required
information below and fax to 806-742-7220 or mail to:
Outreach & Distance Education
Texas Tech University
Lubbock, TX 79409-2191
Home Address: _______________________________
Work Phone: ( ) ____________________________
Home Phone: ( ) ___________________________
Course Course Dates Registration Cost
Period Financial Planning and Law for September 10 - July 15, 2007– $ 1,250 Settlement Planners December 12, 2007 September 3, 2007 Seminar in Settlement Planning January 9 – May 6, July 15, 2007 – $ 1,250 2008 January 8, 2008 Case Studies in Settlement May 28 – June 28, July 15, 2007 – $ 1,250 Planning 2008 May 27, 2008 Optional Book Packaging $ 300
? I am enclosing a check for $ _______ payable to Texas Tech University.
? Please charge my $ ________ registration fee to:
? VISA ? MasterCard ? Discover ? American Express
Card Number: ________________________________
Exp. Date: ___________________________________
Cardholder’s Name: ___________________________
Authorized Signature: _________________________
Refunds, less a $50 processing fee, will be granted for refund requests received before October 1, 2007. Thereafter, no refunds will be granted.
Note: The first two courses (Financial Planning and Law for Settlement Planners and Seminar in Settlement Planning) are required to complete the education requirement for the RSP designation.
Questions? Call 806-742-7200 ext 270