Some state structured settlement protection acts provide that, for a court to approve a transfer and give legal effectiveness to a transaction, the payee must first receive independent professional advice from a lawyer, accountant, or other professional.
The Ohio Structured Settlement Protection Act, before it was revised last year, was one such statute. One Ohio court had to face the question of whether advice from relatives constituted “independent professional advice” under the Ohio SSPA. Unsurprisingly, the court rejected that idea, and said that such advice did not constitute “independent professional advice” – and the court also determined that the proposed transfer was not in the payee’s best interests. See In the Matter Of Francy, Case No. 2003005895, Probate Court, Hamilton County, Ohio (Ohio Prob. Ct. Jan. 30, 2004).