BSMG Blog: Protecting the Future of Families and Businesses

Family Limited Partnerships vs. Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts


Which entity to own life insurance?

The popularity of the irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT) is well documented. Billions of dollars have been gifted by estate owners to single life and survivorship life irrevocable trusts to help fund the payment of federal estate taxes. Yet, a number of disadvantages revolving around lack of flexibility and lack of control discourage the use of such trusts in certain situations. When estate owners realize an irrevocable trust cannot be changed, they sometimes decide to think about it. Or when estate owners realize they don't own the cash value of the policy and have no access to it for lifetime financial needs, they feel a loss of control.

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5 Guidelines for a Successful Section 1035 Exchange

What Financial Advisors Need to Know

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What To Do With An ILIT When the Estate Is No Longer Taxable

Ask yourself this important question... 

Since the federal estate tax exemption is $5.43 million (single) and $10.86 million (married), does paying premiums for life insurance owned by an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) that was purchased years ago when the estate tax exemption was much lower make sense anymore?

Are there other important retirement and protection needs that could be covered with the annual premium that has been gifted to the ILIT for many years? 

A current no-lapse single-life universal life (UL) policy or no-lapse survivorship universal life (SUL) policy may still provide a good internal rate of return (IRR) on death benefit at life expectancy. And the pre-tax equivalent is even better because the life insurance death benefit is income tax free. However, the federal estate tax exemption may have only been between $1,000,000 and $2,000,000 when the trust-owned policy was purchased and it made sense at the time to offset projected estate taxes with estate tax free insurance owned by the ILIT.

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