Estate Planning Part 15 – Life Insurance and the Estate Planning Cycle

Estate planning is the process of accumulating and disposing wealth before death of an individual or estate owner. The most important goal of estate planning is to make sure that the greatest amount of the estate passes to the estate owner’s intended beneficiaries while paying the least amount of taxes. In this article, we will discuss the important role of insurance in estate planning cycle.

1. Creating wealth
Before one can build their wealth through investment vehicles, he or she must know how to save. In this stage, life insurance is always the first stage of estate planning cycle so it can guarantee there are funds around for the beneficiaries in case of sudden death. Most of the time, this stage applies to people just starting a family and have little savings. The type of life insurance used generally is term life insurance because it provides larger amounts of insurance with affordable premiums.

2. Wealth protection
a) In the later stages of a person’s life, when debt is diminished and wealth has been created, protection and conservation of the asset becomes more important. In this stage of the estate planning cycle, term life insurance is no longer provides enough protection. Therefore universal life insurance may be considered, since all investment funds up to maximum amount allowed each year that have been deposited in the universal life policy is tax exempt upon the death of policy insured.

b)Universal life insurance now becomes more important because all unrealized capital gains from stock accumulation, and the appreciation of rental property will have to pay upon the death of the owner. Since life insurance is tax free and is considered as a liquidate asset, it can be used for various purposes such as funeral expense, and paying income tax without selling estate asset at a cheap price if the person dies in the economic down turn.
c) Life insurance also helps to pay off liabilities of estate testator and acts as an emergency fund in case there are no other liquidate assets around.

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