Surrogate Peter Kelly

 

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Petitioners sought approval to transfer structured settlement payments from Nigel Criss, as decedent’s sole distributee, to J.G. Wentworth. Criss was entitled to over $429,000 on payments, with a discounted present value of over $351,000. Criss intended to sell the payments for a $245,000 net amount. Criss, age 18, a single with no dependents, and a full time student, claimed he sought the lump sum payment to purchase a home in Pennsylvania, and use the remaining money for home improvements, buying a car and covering daily expenses. Yet, no supporting documents were provided, and the court found Criss accessed $186,000 in his guardianship account, but his “unfettered use of those funds is not described in the petition.” The court noted if the funds were already spent, and Criss had little to show for it, same militated against granting the requested relief. Also, Criss waived independent counsel relating to the subject transaction, and may not appreciate the long-term financial consequences of selling the payments. The court declined to sanction such an impulsive transfer without any significant urgency, concluding it was not in Criss’ best interest. Hence, it denied the petition.

Surrogate Peter Kelly

 

Read Full-Text Decision

Petitioners sought approval to transfer structured settlement payments from Nigel Criss, as decedent’s sole distributee, to J.G. Wentworth. Criss was entitled to over $429,000 on payments, with a discounted present value of over $351,000. Criss intended to sell the payments for a $245,000 net amount. Criss, age 18, a single with no dependents, and a full time student, claimed he sought the lump sum payment to purchase a home in Pennsylvania, and use the remaining money for home improvements, buying a car and covering daily expenses. Yet, no supporting documents were provided, and the court found Criss accessed $186,000 in his guardianship account, but his “unfettered use of those funds is not described in the petition.” The court noted if the funds were already spent, and Criss had little to show for it, same militated against granting the requested relief. Also, Criss waived independent counsel relating to the subject transaction, and may not appreciate the long-term financial consequences of selling the payments. The court declined to sanction such an impulsive transfer without any significant urgency, concluding it was not in Criss’ best interest. Hence, it denied the petition.