Life insurance has many unique characteristics that may make it a valuable solution for a variety of challenges, including providing payment of a death benefit at the death of the insured(s). In addition to a death benefit protection, life insurance provides for:
- Tax-deferred accumulation of policy cash values.
- Income tax-free death benefits.
- Tax-advantaged access to policy cash values.
(Clients should keep in mind that loans and partial withdrawals may decrease the death benefit and cash value and may be subject to policy limitations and income tax. The many flexible features that life insurance policies provide present suitable uses for personal, business, and charitable situations.)
PERSONAL BENEFITS OF LIFE INSURANCE
- Family Protection: Provides a source of cash for surviving family members to utilize for living expenses.
- College Funding: Provides a funding source for college education of children or grandchildren.
- Debt Protection: Generates cash to pay off an existing mortgage or other personal debt.
- Wealth Creation: Provides funds to leave as an inheritance or to equalize inheritances among family members.
- Estate Tax Liquidity: Creates liquidity to pay estate taxes rather than requiring liquidation of existing estate assets.
- Gifting Leverage: Leverages the use of the annual gift tax exclusion, the lifetime exemption, and/or Generation Skipping Transfer Tax exemption.
BUSINESS BENEFITS OF LIFE INSURANCE
- Key Employee: Provides funds to aid in the search for a replacement if a key employee dies.
- Executive Recruitment and Retention: Used in a variety of non-qualified benefit programs to help attract and keep key employees.
- Business Continuation: Provides funds to aid in continuing the business if the owner dies or becomes disabled.
- Succession Planning: Provides liquidity to buy the ownership interest of a deceased owner.
- Debt Protection: Creates a pool of money to be used to pay off borrowed money.
CHARITABLE BENEFITS OF LIFE INSURANCE
- Wealth Replacement: Used with many charitable gifting programs to replace, for heirs, the value of estate assets gifted to charity.
- Gift Creation: Used to create a significant donation to charity at death or during life.
- Gift Leverage: Used to maximize the eventual charitable donation at the death of the insured.
Although often mistakenly viewed as a price-only decision, the long-term nature of life insurance necessitates careful consideration in selecting the insurance carrier, the product type, and the agent to represent you and interact with your heirs. Some questions to consider when deciding to buy life insurance include:
- Does the agent have a business succession plan that provides for continued service after the retirement or death of the original agent?
- Does the agent have enough experience to adequately meet your needs?
- Does the agent have any influence with the selected carrier?
- Is the insurance carrier financially sound?
- Does the carrier have a history of fair treatment of existing policyholders?
- Will the service levels provided by the carrier satisfy your requirements?
- Will the product be able to adapt to changes in your personal and financial goals or situation?
- Are the pricing assumptions of the product economically sound?
- If I buy a term policy, can it be converted?
Issues such as these highlight the power of M Financial Group. Successful and experienced life
insurance professionals make up M Member Firms, including Insurance Consulting Services. The
collective buying power of M Financial allows Member Firms to use a more favorable pricing experience than with off-the-shelf products and to garner unique service considerations. These and other advantages available through M Financial make the selection of a Member Firm as your representative a wise and prudent choice. For further details about the relationship between Insurance Consulting Services and M Financial, click here or go to www.mfin.com/DisclosureStatement for further details regarding this relationship.