Advising a Client
How can we help?
Trust-Owned Life Insurance
At some point every conversation with your adult clients will turn to estate taxes – and how to avoid them. Setting up an irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT) is a powerful tool toward that end. We can tell you when an ILIT is appropriate and help move existing or new policies into place.
Does your client own a business? A business can help its key executives purchase additional life insurance through an executive bonus plan. The executive owns the life insurance policy and pays the premiums, and the company “bonuses” the executive an amount equal to the premium and tax liabilities. We can help you figure out a plan to benefit both the client and the company.
Your client may have life insurance policies they bought for good reasons – business or personal — but those reasons no longer matter. Rather than letting an old policy lapse, your client may be able to sell it as part of a Life Settlement.
A life settlement is the sale of an existing life policy to a third party. Proceeds are less than the death benefit but more than the cash surrender value. It can be an option for those who no longer need or want their life insurance policy or require funds for other needs.
Most types of policies may be candidates for settlement: Universal Life, Guaranteed Universal Life, Survivorship Universal Life, Variable Universal Life, sometimes Whole Life, and even – at times — Convertible Term.
We can help your client determine the tax consequences, future ability to buy life insurance, length of time needed to settle, and the costs – among other factors – before agreeing to a life settlement. It can get complicated. We can guide you both through the process.
Clients with disabilities often rely on special needs trusts to provide a framework for providing lifetime care. Life insurance can be used to fund a trust, ensuring caregivers that even if they are financial setbacks in the future or need to devote their assets to their own retirement, there will be a source of funding for the SNT. We can help you determine the amount needed and the right policy to accomplish this goal.
Few clients are aware that their family is more likely to suffer deep financial loss from their being hurt or sick than if they die unexpectedly. We can help determine how much is needed to keep life moving along, whether individual coverage or business continuation coverage for business owners.
Clients who are business owners have spent years building a valuable financial interest in their company. What happens to that value when they or a partner die? If the answer is selling the business or their part in it, life insurance will create a sum of money at death that can be used to pay the owner’s family or estate the full value of the ownership interest. We can help you make sure every contingency is covered.
Your client has high expectations – even more so for something as important and personal as their their financial plan. To make sure your clients’ insurance policies perform as originally intended, we offer thorough and ongoing in force policy management. For a flat, reasonable rate, we can take this important function off your plate.
Life insurance is a long-term solution for ever-evolving needs. We work closely with Long Road Risk Management, a firm specializing in working with clients’ trusted advisors to add insurance to a fully designed financial plan. Our relationship with Long Road ensures our access to effective underwriting advocacy, the full spectrum of insurance products, and the ability to regularly monitor and revise plans as needed.
Long-Term Care Insurance
Few things can drain retirement savings more quickly than the cost of long-term care. Whether it’s full-time residential nursing care or just help with daily tasks, cost of care is high and rising. LTC insurance can help make sure adult children aren’t saddled with these expenses, and a healthy spouse doesn’t find themselves in financial straits. We can help you build coverage around your clients’ existing benefits and savings and examine the appropriateness of hybrid LTC and life insurance.
The best of intentions may go awry without a plan in place. We can help you guide your client to the most tax-efficient, plan-friendly way to incorporate giving into a long-term financial strategy, including ways to avoid estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer taxes.
Engaging the Services of Attorneys and Law Firms
When developing and implementing complex financial, tax and legacy strategies for clients, we place high importance in coordinating our efforts with their legal advisors to provide insight during the execution of legal documents. We proactively involve legal advisors in our process of developing and implementing planning strategies for clients such as:
- Estate Planning including inter-generational issues
- Business Exit and Succession Planning
- Asset Protection Strategies and Risk Management Techniques
- Estate and Gift Tax Planning
- Special Needs and Elder Care/Long Term Care Planning
- Employment Contract Structuring
Engaging the Services of CPAs and Accounting Firms
Through our many years of partnering with CPAs, we understand the importance of objectivity, confidentiality, transparency and competency for the engagement in our working relationship. As a result, we are regularly called upon by accountants to provide resources and technical support. As with attorneys, our practice is to proactively involve accounting advisors in the process of developing and implementing strategies for clients. These areas may involve
- Income, gift, and estate tax preparation and filing
- Business structuring
- Income statement and balance sheet normalization
- Cash flow analysis and projection
- Pre- and post-deal financial analysis