Life Insurance as Part of Estate Planning

There is a trend in the United States that is called “the graying of America,” which means that Americans, on average, are getting older. The baby boomers who were born in the 1950s and 1960s are either already retired or nearing retirement.

For those who are lucky enough be well off, one thing they can do is use life insurance as part of estate planning because of its unique tax advantages and the ability to avoid gift taxes as well.

We need to add a disclaimer here because these laws can change at any time. For our discussion in this post, we used the existing IRS rules as of December 2019. 

Work with your tax accountant, attorney, other advisors, and your insurance agent at Bob Korvas Agency Inc. serving Niles, IL and the surrounding area, to get information about the current rules when implementing any estate planning.

Life Insurance as an Estate Planning Tool

Currently, life insurance death benefits are not considered taxable income. You need to report receiving the benefits to the IRS but the amount is not included in your taxable income. One way for elderly adults to give something to their kids and grandkids is to buy single-premium life insurance and make them the beneficiary. Upon your death, any benefits paid to them are tax-free, if the laws stay the same.

Avoiding the Gift Tax

The current rules allow an annual gift of up to $15,000 that you can give to anyone. This amount is not considered taxable income for the gift recipient.

If you buy a life insurance policy that accrues cash value, any cash value above the $15,000 is taxable, if you give the policy to another person while you are still alive. If you give a life insurance policy that has a cash value of less than $15,000, you can also buy an annuity at the same time that gives them a check each year until your death that is less than $15,000 to pay the premiums. The cash value builds up tax-free and the tax-free death benefits are paid when you die.

Summary

These are just a few ways that life insurance can be an excellent tool in estate planning. Be sure to get competent tax and legal advice. Then, work with your agent at Bob Korvas Agency Inc.in Niles, IL to get a quote for all your insurance needs.