Life insurance assets associated with business owners or key stakeholders can present profitable opportunities for securing capital that can affect business planning. This article presents illustrative cases and resources for fiduciaries seeking a secondary market valuation.
Swooping in to save your client from making financial mistakes is your job as their advisor. However, do you know the value of all their assets, including their life insurance? While life insurance is often overlooked as an asset, it could be the most valuable asset your client owns. And a life settlement can unlock that value to help your senior client fund other areas of retirement.
For many, the idea of estate planning refers to a will, a written document designating your possessions to the people or organizations you care about most. For others, an estate plan is an annuity or life insurance policy to protect assets for the next generation. However, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 significantly lowered the estate tax exemption, causing some policy owners to no longer need their policies for estate planning needs. Instead of surrendering or lapsing the life insurance policy back to the carrier, consider a life settlement.
As a fiduciary, you protect your client’s best interests, which means that you present to them all the options that will allow them to achieve their goals. A life settlement is a legal right in all 50 states, yet it is often overlooked by many advisory teams when conducting annual reviews and asset planning. However, by not discussing your client’s life insurance and the possibility of a life settlement, you could be leaving your client vulnerable to predatory practices used by many in the industry. By having proactive conversations with your senior clients about life settlements, you can be sure their interests are protected and build a defensible body of work.
What is a life settlement?
A life settlement is the sale of an in-force life insurance policy to a licensed, institutional buyer for a sum less than the death benefit and more than the cash surrender value. The life settlement market started in 1911 when the Supreme Court ruled that life insurance is considered an asset, just like your home or a piece of art. Since then, life settlements have become a legal right in all 50 states, with 90 percent of the population living in regulated states. The value created from a life settlement can be used in any way the policy owner wishes. At Ashar Group, we have seen clients use the money to fund other aspects of planning, fund long-term care, or make memories with loved ones.
How does a life settlement protect the client’s best interests?
New York Regulation 187 states, “recommendations must be in the best interests of the consumer.” There are many situations in which a policy owner no longer wants, needs, or can afford their life insurance policy. In this instance, the insured may wish to surrender their policy back to the carrier for the cash surrender value (CSV) or explore other nonforfeiture options. However, a life settlement often creates value that is 6-12 times the CSV.
The best practice for conducting a life settlement is to use a life settlement broker, such as Ashar Group, who represents your client in the marketplace. Ashar Group specializes in creating a competitive bidding process among licensed institutional buyers to ensure the client receives fair market value for the policy. This proprietary auction process allows us to have the title of “Life Settlement Fiduciary.”
Ashar Group is dedicated to helping our clients receive fair market value for their life insurance policies. Contact us today to see if a life settlement is right for you.
Audits of financial advisors are increasing and show no signs of abating. Amidst enhanced scrutiny, financial advisors should work with partners that are well-versed in the regulatory and compliance complexities facing today’s fiduciaries. Ashar Group has in-house experts that focus on compliance in the life settlement space to protect both the client and advisor. Continue reading →
Fiduciaries often hesitate to explore the option of a life settlement with their senior clients, even when both parties stand to benefit. The most common reason is a lack of understanding about how the process works. This piece provides insight, as well as resources for moving forward. Continue reading →
The costs of long-term care insurance policies are rising exponentially over general health care costs, rendering many seniors unable to pay premiums and at risk for losing coverage. This piece explores a life settlement as one option to secure funds to prevent this loss and ensure ongoing care.
Many life insurance policyholders are unaware of alternatives to allowing their policy to lapse or surrendering it for the cash value, therefore foreclosing the opportunity to receive fair market value for their policy through a life settlement.
In the landmark decision of Grigsby v. Russell in 1911, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that life insurance is personal property. Meaning, a life insurance policy can be bought and sold like any other form of personal property, such as a house or vehicle. It also means that while a policy owner is living, their life insurance policy holds value right now. If you have senior clients, they don’t have to wait to take advantage of the value of their life insurance policies. Continue reading →
Professionals who offer financial consulting services play an important role in their clients’ quality of life. “Quality of life,” of course, can mean very different things throughout a person’s life. The financial needs of clients in their thirties, for example, can vary greatly from those of clients in their fifties. Continue reading →
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