A trust can be created to help manage asset transfer when you pass away in a streamlined and controlled manner. This prompts the question, should you put your life insurance policy into a trust? Naming a living trust as a beneficiary of your life insurance policy does come with some disadvantages.
The benefits of going this route, however, are that it makes it easier for your loved ones to access this money because they do not have to go through probate and the funds are protected from creditors who might step forward during that probate process to try to claim pieces of the estate.
If you are the trustee of your revokable living trust, any asset inside it is technically considered your property because this trust is not irrevocable. Life insurance proceeds in this example would be counted towards your overall estate work if your estate exceeds the IRS threshold for taxes, which is $12.06 million in 2022 and $24.12 for couples. Additionally, funding a trust with life insurance, much like annuity contracts, typically requires a change of ownership form that is submitted to the issuer of the contract.
Life insurance can be used alongside your estate planning or can play a more active role. Overall, it helps you to give your family immediate assets they can use to pay the most important bills and cover things like a mortgage. Deciding on the right amount of policy coverage is key to success, and you might want to revisit that over time, too.
Before placing a life insurance policy into a living trust, speak with an experienced estate planning lawyer about whether this is recommended for you.