What Role Does Life Insurance Play in Your New Jersey Estate Planning?

If you do not have significant assets but already have a life insurance policy in order to help provide income protection if you were to suddenly pass away, you may be curious about additional ways to fund an inheritance for your children or grandchildren. Leaving behind an inheritance for your loved ones is certainly a worthy goal and it can factor into the overall estate planning for you and your spouse. Life insurance can help to close the gap if you believe that you may need to access some of your own assets in order to support your retirement. You might even establish an irrevocable life insurance trust. estate planning NJ

The first step to take in this process is to inventory all of the assets you have and to determine with your financial planning advisor and your New Jersey estate planning attorney, what portion of those assets need to be allocated towards supporting you in retirement. From this point on you may determine that additional funds inside retirement or investment accounts could be passed on to your loved ones.

You may also decide, however, that additional life insurance is a good way to support and leave behind a legacy for your loved ones. You would need to decide what kind of insurance is most appropriate in this situation. The most affordable type of life insurance is known as term life because it can be obtained relatively inexpensively and provide protection for you and loved ones, if something were to happen to you over a specific period of time. You can speak with your New Jersey estate planning attorney to learn more about how life insurance may fit into the scope of your long-term estate planning needs.


Estate Taxes on Life Insurance & Life Insurance Trusts (“ILITs”)

Many Americans may be unaware of what an irrevocable life insurance trust (“ILIT”) is, let alone the benefits it may provide to them.

Typically, life insurance policy proceeds are not subject to income taxation. However, they are included in the calculation of a person’s gross taxable estate. This is where the ILIT comes in. If a person puts their life insurance policy into an ILIT, the proceeds of the policy are kept out of his or her taxable estate. The proceeds will therefore be available to his or her heirs free of income and estate tax.

Additionally, ILITs are a great way to provide cash to help pay for the taxes that will be levied on your estate. Beneficiaries of your ILIT can use some of the proceeds to pay the taxes owed on your estate. By doing this, your actual estate is kept in tact. This strategy is especially beneficial to those whose estate consists largely of illiquid assets such as a business or real estate. Through setting up an ILIT, you can ensure that your family will not have to sell the illiquid assets in your estate in order to satisfy the estate taxes.

Call us at 732-521-9455 or email at info@LawEsq.net to discuss the right way to own your life insurance.