What’s the Truth About Life Settlements?

By Daxton Fryer, Senior Life Settlement Analyst Whether you call it a life settlement, a lifetime settlement or a senior settlement, Life Settlements have become a very popular option for today’s financial planners and trusted advisors and their clients who may want to cash out their life insurance policies.  Life Settlements have also become a powerful option for corporations, trusts and individuals who have poorly performing or thinly funded senior client policies.  This specialty is fast becoming a mainstream financial planning tool for insurance agents, CPA’s, tax attorneys, estate planners, elder law attorneys and trust companies.  As a financial professional,…

Top Five Life Insurance Myths

By Steven J. Oshins, J.D., AEP (Distinguished) Understanding life insurance is important for everybody in the estate planning industry. Whether you are a financial advisor, an attorney, an accountant or a banker, you have plenty of opportunities to help your clients make good life insurance decisions. With any complex topic, there are always myths that exist that cause people to make bad purchase decisions. The life insurance industry is no different than other industries in that numerous myths have been repeated over and over through the years. MYTH #1- Buying term insurance and investing the difference is better than buying…

5 Commonly Overlooked Uses of Life Insurance

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law | Volume 2, Issue 6 (June 2014) Now that fewer than half of one-percent of all estates face a potential estate tax, I have had life insurance agents (as well as financial planners, CPAs, and attorneys) ask me whether there’s any need for life insurance anymore in clients’ planning, beyond the still standard needs for replacing the income of a head of household or funding a business partner buy-sell agreement. Over my 30+ years of experience in advising clients…

The Importance of Periodic Life Insurance Policy Reviews

By Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, J.D. | Volume 2, Issue 2 (February 2014) Everyone who owns an insurance policy should be certain to conduct insurance reviews.  A recent study found that in 75% of cases, the person insured could have reduced their premium outlay by an average of 40%, or increased their coverage by an average of 40% for the same outlay.  These changes occur because insurance policies have evolved over time. Mortality rates have improved, people are living longer, and since insurance companies are going to pay claims later, newer policies will be cheaper than older policies even…

Whole Life as a Unique Planning Tool

By Jason Oshins, Financial Advisor, MBA | Volume 2, Issue 1 (January 2014) Given the financial condition of many families today, we’d be remiss not to explore whether more powerful retirement strategies exist than the ones typically employed. The traditional retirement strategy involves funding various financial vehicles during working years and then living off the income generated by these assets during retirement.  As a result, each year retirees spend only the interest earned on their assets because they fear running out of money or preserving adequate legacy.  At some point, they either sacrifice principal to maintain lifestyle or sacrifice lifestyle to…

Sell More Life Insurance by Showing Prospects How to Avoid Income Tax

  By Philip J. Kavesh, CFP®, ChFC, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation) The 2012 American Taxpayer Relief Act (“ATRA”) may have reduced the need for life insurance in estate tax planning, but it has opened numerous opportunities to utilize life insurance as an income tax planning tool. A big concern for taxpayers who may want to sell their home, stocks, rental property or business is the huge jump in capital gains taxes.  The top federal rate bracket has moved from 15% to 20%, but when you add in the combined effect of the 3.8% Net Investment Income (“Obamacare”) Surtax, the itemized deduction phaseout or…

Phil Kavesh to Present at the AVIVA 2013 Sales Expo in Arizona

Today, our President, Philip J. Kavesh, is in Arizona for AVIVA USA’s Sales Expo 2013 speaking on the topic, “The Top 22 Overlooked Uses of Life Insurance in 2013” before a select group of AVIVA’s finest brokers and agents. According to Phil, they’ve made some pretty big announcements here and there are some exciting things coming to AVIVA in 2014! Thanks again AVIVA for this wonderful opportunity to help educate your agents!

New Trustee Liability: Failure to Review Trust-Owned Life Insurance

By Richard Gilman, CFP® and Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law The Uniform Prudent Investor Act (UPIA) requires trustees of Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILIT) to evaluate the appropriateness of the Trust Owned Life Insurance (TOLI) and to manage ILIT assets in a manner that minimizes costs and maximizes benefits to trust beneficiaries. This equates to a duty to not only acquire the right policy, but to review it periodically to be sure it still is in the best interests of the beneficiaries.  (Be aware that…

Life Insurance from the Estate Planning Attorney’s Viewpoint

By Steven J. Oshins, J.D., AEP (Distinguished) Estate planning attorneys are often known for “killing” life insurance sales.  Since the attorney owes the client a duty to do what is in the client’s best interest, if the attorney truly believes that the client does not need the insurance policy, then the attorney is arguably satisfying his or her ethical responsibilities to the client.  However, the attorney often automatically says “no” to the client’s detriment.  Perhaps the problem is that many attorneys just don’t understand the different life insurance products.  And human nature is often such that if you don’t understand…

Is It Time to Reevaluate Your Clients’ Trust-Owned Life Insurance Policy?

By Michael W. Halloran, CFP®, AEP®, ChFC®, CLU® Whether owned in a revocable or irrevocable trust, many practitioners have used life insurance over the years. Depending upon the type of policy as well as current economic conditions, some problems could arise with many existing Trust Owned Life Insurance (TOLI) policies. The majority of problems with TOLI policies lie in irrevocable trusts. Many times the trustee places the policy in the trust without checking with the company to see if the policy is sustainable for the intended purpose of the trust. The coverage needs to stay in-force until the death of…