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BEWARE: Don't be fooled by discounted life settlement offers

Seniors should exercise caution when tempted by direct-to-consumer life settlement ads on TV and social media. Instead, entrust their interests to a resource that ensures they receive the best possible outcome. Don't let every day feel like April Fool's Day—empower seniors to make informed decisions about their financial future.
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Wealth Management Article - 2024 Market Outlook

Historically, uncertainty in financial markets increases life insurance lapse activity. Think about your parents and the large number of baby boomers who are retiring every day or already retired. What are they worried about? According to the 2023 Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies Report, the most often cited retirement fears are declining health that requires long-term care (36%), Social Security will be reduced or cease to exist in the future (36%), outliving their savings and investments (35%), possible long-term care costs (30%), not being able to meet the financial needs of their family (30%), and cognitive decline, dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease (29%).
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Why We Fall As We Age

These fast twitch muscles keep us from falling and breaking something as we age. They allow us to keep our balance if we slip on something or step off a curb without noticing the drop. They allow us to quickly apply the brakes to avoid a catastrophic fall. After the age of 70, if you fall and break your hip, it could be fatal or, at minimum, be a long, painful recovery period that reduces your quality of life.
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5 Tools for Integrating the Life Settlement Solution

More than 9M policies lapse each year, and only about 3,000 life settlement transactions occur. How many more of those lapsed policies could have qualified for a life settlement – a buyout of existing life insurance for an amount greater than the cash surrender value and less than the death benefit? If only 1% of those lapsed could have qualified, that’s 90,000 policies resulting in billions to consumers over the cash surrender value.
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Everyday Success Story: Transforming an Underfunded Policy in an ILIT

Considering the financial landscapes many clients are navigating, here's an everyday success story that underscores the importance of valuing assets, particularly life insurance, in crafting comprehensive planning solutions. We recently worked with a client facing the challenge of an underfunded life insurance policy held within an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT). The policy, once thought to be a cornerstone of their estate plan, was underperforming and had become a source of financial strain due to rising premiums.
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3 Reasons to Discuss Longevity with Your Clients

As retirement has changed over the past several decades, longevity has become a vital component of financial planning. With people living longer, continued inflation, and rising healthcare costs, outliving one’s retirement plan is a real concern. This is why a frank discussion about health, longevity, and long-term care needs to be part of every retirement strategy session with your senior clients.
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The Keys to Longevity - It's never too late, but start now!

The more I study the secrets of longevity, the more confused I become. I’ve come to realize that you have to look for common themes and then try something to see if it works for you. I’m age 74 and trying to turn back the clock physiologically and end up living longer and healthier. I’ve always been involved in athletic endeavors, but I realize now that what I have been doing is not enough.
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What Happens to Corporate-Owned Life Insurance When a Key Person Retires?

A corporate-owned life insurance policy is generally purchased to protect a business in the event a key partner/employee of that business passes away. Among other benefits, the insurance policy helps to bridge the gaps the death of that individual causes and ensures the company continues to function. But what happens to that policy with the individual retires?
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Wealth Management Article - 2023 Mid-Year Outlook

Advisors are asking their compliance departments, “How can I tell my clients that I provide comprehensive and holistic financial planning, yet not disclose the life settlement option when it is appropriate?” With an aging population, many clients prefer to receive a buyout of their existing life insurance for an amount that is higher than their cash surrender value, providing liquidity for investments and other retirement needs.
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Shooting for the Centenarian Club

This is personal. If you’re not paying attention to clients like me, you’re missing out on a huge growing segment of the financial planning arena driven by baby boomers. At my age, I’m on the leading edge of the boomers. In September of last year, I broke my back when took a Superman flight over the handlebars of my mountain bike. I knew immediately this was different than my previous accidents where I was sidelined for several weeks because of torn muscles and ligaments in my shoulders. This time, I couldn’t walk for a while and my thumb and two fingers on my right hand were numb. This one really scared me.
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Compliance-Centric Life Settlements Serve Best Interests

Over time, compliance officers have come to recognize that if life settlements are pursued for the right reasons, after a thorough review of all non-forfeiture options and suitability, a life settlement could very well be in clients' best interests. It is a viable exit strategy that should be disclosed in a comprehensive policy review in partnership with a resource that offers a compliance-centric process. However, broker-dealers do not just allow life settlements carte blanche. They put strict procedural guardrails in place to protect the company and their representatives from liability risk. 
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What Seniors in Retirement Need to Know About Their Existing Life Insurance

Life settlements are the sale of an existing life insurance policy for more than the cash surrender value and less than the death benefit. Anyone age 65 or older who has developed health issues since their policy was issued and owns a universal life or convertible term insurance policy has a high probability of benefiting from selling their policy. Policies with a death benefit of $250K or more can qualify. Younger policy owners with serious chronic illnesses can also explore the life settlement option.
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Will I need a medical exam?

Unlike applying for insurance coverage, no medical exam is required in the life settlement process. Buyers will review the last 3 years of medical records for the purpose of providing offers. Certain situations do not require any medical review at all.

Is a life settlement legal?

The right to sell your life insurance policy, like any other piece of property/asset, is available in all 50 states.

How common are life settlements?

With the retirement crisis and increased medical costs, more senior policy owners are using life settlements to unlock the value of unwanted/unneeded life insurance policies and use the funds for all sorts of needs like funding retirement, long-term care, or medical expenses.

I see a lot of ads on T.V. about selling my life insurance. How is Ashar different?

Companies on TV are licensed to represent investors, not policy owners. Their objective is to pay the lowest amount possible for a policy without competition. Ashar is a fiduciary to the policy owner and through our competitive auction process, we secure hundreds of millions each year for families looking to solve everyday needs. Since 2003, Ashar has been focused solely on the life settlement and life insurance policy valuation space and has earned the reputation of a trusted resource.

How can I ensure I have representation that protects my best interests?

While we’re licensed to represent the seller in a life settlement transaction, Ashar also works alongside financial professionals for the clients they serve. We believe policy owners are best served when their planning professionals are involved in any complex decisions about their life insurance. Either way, our sole fiduciary duty is to you – the policy owner. Ashar has relationships with thousands of reputable financial professionals in every practice area – insurance planning, tax planning, retirement planning, wealth management, charitable planning, etc. If you need a recommendation, let us make the connection. We’re here to help.

If my policy has value now, won’t it have more in the future?

It depends on several factors like cost of insurance changes or significant changes in insured’s health. Like all markets, sometimes it’s a seller’s market and sometimes it’s a buyer’s market. Also, the market is impacted by buyer’s purchase parameters. Ultimately, families should consider the cost of continued premiums and managing the policy should they decide to keep it in the hopes of selling it in the future. What if the insured lives longer than projected? Does the policy owner have the liquidity available to maintain the policy?

How do I know if I will qualify?

Most buyers are looking at policy type, age and health of the insured, and premium requirements to make a determination of offer. Each life settlement buyer is a fiduciary to multiple investors, each with their own unique set of purchase parameters. Based on policy details and insured health status, we will reach out to our extensive network of institutional buyer relationships for offers. If you have an unneeded/unwanted policy, are ages 60s to 90s, and have had a decline in health since your policy was issued, you could qualify for a life settlement solution. Younger insureds with significant health issues can also qualify.

What is my policy worth?

The overall value depends on several factors: policy type, premium amount, cash surrender value, insured’s health, and buyer’s purchase parameters. Most policy owners only know what the death benefit is in the event of the insured’s passing. Beyond that, some policies accumulate cash value – the amount the policy owner would receive if the policy were surrendered (less any carrier/outstanding fees). In the life settlement transaction, there are two values: the offer that is received without a policy auction and the fair market value (highest value) – achieved only through a true policy auction. Find out if your policy could have value.


How long does the life settlement process take?

Ashar can provide a range of potential value with some policy and medical information within a day or two. The entire process takes on average about the same amount of time as selling your house. Ashar’s experienced team is dedicated to compressing timeframes and delivering a quick result to every policy owner and financial professional we serve.

Who’s actually buying my policy?

Experienced life settlement resources work with qualified licensed purchasers. These purchasers are obligated to the investors they represent and are comprised of some of the most well-known institutional investment groups – pension plans, private equity, and asset managers. Ashar requires each buyer relationship to complete a due diligence process. We never work with purchasers who represent individual investors, or those that do not abide by all applicable regulatory requirements.

Are life settlement proceeds taxable?

Money received from a life settlement is tax free up to the basis (premiums paid into the policy). From the basis to the cash surrender value is treated as ordinary income. All proceeds that exceed the cash surrender value is taxed as capital gain. *Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only. Ashar does not provide tax advice. Please speak with your tax professional for more information.
Current Tax Law

What’s the difference between Ashar and buyers?

Direct buyers’ fiduciary duty is to the funds they represent when purchasing policies, not the client. Their objective is to pay the lowest amount possible, so they receive the highest return for their investors. Ashar sits on the same side of the table as you and your client. Our sole responsibility is to the policy owner. Through our competitive auction platform, we leverage multiple buyers’ offers to negotiate the highest offer. While a direct buyer’s offer will be higher than the policy’s cash surrender value, only through a true competitive auction can the seller receive the fair market value for their policy.

Should I submit my clients’ information to multiple life settlement companies?

No, maintaining control of the information submitted to buyers ensures your client’s data is used solely for the purpose of obtaining the highest value. It’s all about buyer competition, not life settlement fiduciaries sending mixed messages to the market. Ashar will securely submit the policy to licensed buyers and facilitate the auction process on behalf of your client. Controlled, exclusive policy control is in the best interest of the policy owner and receives the most aggressive offers during the auction process.

What does independent representation mean to me?

Ashar does not sell life insurance, manage assets, nor purchase policies. This means we are dedicated to ensuring your clients receive the highest offer for their life insurance policy and we will protect the integrity of the process and the relationships you have spent your career building.

How does Ashar protect my client’s data?

First, Ashar does not partner with lead gen companies that sell your client’s data to other companies. Second, Ashar transfers data through our secure policy auction platform and shares it only with necessary parties.

Who does Ashar represent?

As a licensed life settlement broker, Ashar has a fiduciary duty to protect the best interests of the policy owner/seller in the life settlement process. We sit on the same side of the table as you and your client. It’s always about what’s best for the policy owner, not the buyer. Whether it’s our expedited approach or a more traditional path of taking the policy to market, the result will be defensible with all parties feeling confident that the seller’s needs were met. Taking the time to properly position the policy and force competition between a group of vetted, qualified buyers ensures the seller receives much higher offers than the opening bid of a single buyer.

What training and support does Ashar offer my organization?

Ashar’s executive team members are respected thought leaders in the secondary market, speaking both nationally and internationally on the topics of life settlements, policy valuations, and the impact of increased longevity on planning with senior clients. They’re supported by a team of experienced analysts who keep the promises they make on the front stage. We offer exclusive education for teams like yours so they learn new ways to meet client needs – whatever they may be. From one-on-one sessions to webinars, guest speaking events, marketing tools, newsletter content, and more, we meet you where you are so you can meet your goals. Topics range from general market overviews to success stories to in-depth life insurance policy valuation methodologies. The education possibilities are endless.

What makes Ashar different than other life settlement companies?

Ashar is a nationally licensed independent seller’s representative and does not sell life insurance, manage assets, nor purchase policies. Backed by our proprietary auction platform, our team of longevity and in-house valuation experts deliver the best results for policy owners.

Is the life settlement industry regulated?

Every state allows for the life settlement transaction. Like any other asset/property, it is a policy owner’s right to sell a life insurance policy. Some states even require disclosure of the life settlement option as an exit strategy. Additionally, all forms are regulated by each state’s department of insurance.

How does Ashar ensure client best interests and our advisors are served?

In the age of best interest regulations, many are concerned with the potential liability of not disclosing the life settlement option and a policy owner canceling a life insurance contract that was worth five to 10 times more than the cash surrender value. We represent thousands of policy owners each year to provide information so they can decide whether to keep or sell their life insurance.

Who’s buying these policies?

Experienced life settlement resources work with licensed purchasers. Each of these purchasers represent multiple funds comprised of some of the most well-known institutional investment groups – pension plans, private equity, and asset managers. Ashar requires each buyer relationship to complete a due diligence process. We never work with purchasers who represent individual investors, or those that do not abide by all applicable regulatory requirements.

Is Ashar a licensed fiduciary to represent my clients?

Yes, we represent thousands of policy owners each year to provide information so they can decide whether to keep or sell their life insurance. We understand how to protect client’s information and abide by all applicable regulatory requirements.

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