Use Of Life Insurance In Estate Planning - Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust

Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust
One way to remove life insurance proceeds from a taxable estate is to create an irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT). An ILIT is an irrevocable trust created for the purpose of owning a life insurance policy. The insurance trust is a contract between a grantor and a trustee to administer an insurance contract for the benefit of the named beneficiaries. The trust cannot be rescinded, amended or modified in any way after it is created. Once the grantor contributes property to the trust, they cannot later reclaim ownership of the property or change the terms of the trust. Therefore, the proceeds are not included as part of the grantor's estate.

In many cases, it makes sense to find an outside source to be the trustee of an irrevocable life insurance trust. This could be a trust department at a local bank or financial institution but there may be additional costs involved. If an ILIT is properly structured, the death benefits paid to the trust will be free from inclusion in the gross estate of the insured. In addition, the ILIT can also be structured so that the trust will provide benefits to the insured's surviving spouse without inclusion in the surviving spouse's gross estate either.

Also, upon completion of the transfer, if the grantor or transferor dies within three years of the date from which the policy was transferred, the life insurance proceeds will be included in the grantor's estate for tax purposes. The beneficiary still receives the proceeds; however, the estate will have to report the proceeds when computing the estate tax. The three-year rule can be avoided if the life insurance policy is purchased at the outset by the trustee of the ILIT. This way there is no gift or transfer.

Estate and Gift Taxation
Related Articles
  1. Career Education & Resources

    The Top RIA Deals of 2015

    It was a big year for change within the RIA industry. Here are 2015's biggest mergers, acquisitions and buyouts.
  2. Options & Futures

    Five Advantages of Futures Over Options

    Futures have a number of advantages over options such as fixed upfront trading costs, lack of time decay and liquidity.
  3. Products and Investments

    How to Create a New Financial Product in 10 Steps

    The 10 steps outlined here are essential to the creation of a new financial product.
  4. Professionals

    A Day In The Life Of A Public Accountant

    Here's an inside look at the workdays of two experienced CPAs, to give you an idea of what it might be like to pursue a career as a public accountant.
  5. Professionals

    A Day in the Life of a Public Accountant

    There’s no typical day in the life of a public accountant, but one accountant’s experience may shed some light on what the career entails.
  6. Saving and Spending

    A Key Tip for Making Your Nest Egg Last Longer

    Retirees who don't want to deplete their nest eggs during a bear market should make sure to do the following.
  7. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Fidelity Target Risk Funds Overview

    Get a brief overview of Fidelity's seven target risk funds, with a description of each fund's asset allocation and expense ratio.
  8. Investing News

    Is it the Right Time to Raise Interest Rates?

    Warning signs have started to emerge that point to a potentially dismal 2016 for the U.S. economy.
  9. Markets

    Four Big Risks of Algorithmic High-Frequency Trading

    Algorithmic HFT has a number of risks, and it also can amplify systemic risk because of its propensity to intensify market volatility.
  10. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    The Top 3 Invesco Funds for Retirement Diversification in 2016

    Explore analyses of the top three Invesco mutual funds for retirement diversification in 2016, and learn about the characteristics of these target-date funds.
RELATED TERMS
  1. Sortino Ratio

    A modification of the Sharpe ratio that differentiates harmful ...
  2. Equity Risk Premium

    The excess return that investing in the stock market provides ...
  3. Net Line

    The amount of risk that an insurance company retains after subtracting ...
  4. Political Risk Insurance

    Coverage that provides financial protection to investors, financial ...
  5. Maximum Drawdown (MDD)

    The maximum loss from a peak to a trough of a portfolio, before ...
  6. Gross Exposure

    The absolute level of a fund's investments.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What's the difference between a stop and a limit order?

    Different types of orders allow you to be more specific about how you'd like your broker to fulfill your trades. When you ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Are secured personal loans better than unsecured loans?

    Secured loans are better for the borrower than unsecured loans because the loan terms are more agreeable. Often, the interest ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Which mutual funds made money in 2008?

    Out of the 2,800 mutual funds that Morningstar, Inc., the leading provider of independent investment research in North America, ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Why are mutual funds subject to market risk?

    Like all securities, mutual funds are subject to market, or systematic, risk. This is because there is no way to predict ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Why have mutual funds become so popular?

    Mutual funds have become an incredibly popular option for a wide variety of investors. This is primarily due to the automatic ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Can your car insurance company check your driving record?

    While your auto insurance company cannot pull your full motor vehicle report, or MVR, it does pull a record summary that ... Read Full Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Black Swan

    An event or occurrence that deviates beyond what is normally expected of a situation and that would be extremely difficult ...
  2. Inverted Yield Curve

    An interest rate environment in which long-term debt instruments have a lower yield than short-term debt instruments of the ...
  3. Socially Responsible Investment - SRI

    An investment that is considered socially responsible because of the nature of the business the company conducts. Common ...
  4. Presidential Election Cycle (Theory)

    A theory developed by Yale Hirsch that states that U.S. stock markets are weakest in the year following the election of a ...
  5. Super Bowl Indicator

    An indicator based on the belief that a Super Bowl win for a team from the old AFL (AFC division) foretells a decline in ...
Trading Center