Insurance Trust


DEFINITION of 'Insurance Trust'

An irrevocable trust set up with a life insurance policy as the asset, allowing the grantor of the policy to exempt asset away from his or her taxable estate.

Once the life insurance policy is placed in the trust, the insured person no longer owns the policy, which will be managed by the trustee on behalf of the policy beneficiaries when the insured person dies.

The insurance trust, or irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT), is often used to set aside cash proceeds that can be used to pay estate taxes, as the life insurance policy should be exempt from the taxable estate of the decedent.

BREAKING DOWN 'Insurance Trust'

One catch on the insurance trust is that the life insurance policy must be transferred to the trust at least three years before the death of the insured. To get around this rule, a new policy can be taken out with a spouse as owner, then placed in the trust.

As an irrevocable trust, changes can only be made by beneficiaries; the owner gives up all control to the trustee. If the size of the taxable estate is below the maximum exclusion figure, it is generally not necessary to set up an insurance trust; in this case the life insurance will be included in the decedent's taxable estate.

  1. Bypass Trust

    An estate-planning device used to pass down assets after death ...
  2. Estate Planning

    The collection of preparation tasks that serve to manage an individual's ...
  3. Universal Life Insurance

    A type of flexible permanent life insurance offering the low-cost ...
  4. Pour-Over Will

    A will established by an individual who has already taken the ...
  5. Trustee

    A person or firm that holds or administers property or assets ...
  6. Irrevocable Trust

    A trust that can't be modified or terminated without the permission ...
Related Articles
  1. Options & Futures

    How To Avoid Taxation On Life Insurance Proceeds

    Decrease the value of your taxable estate and prevent the tax man from getting you one last time.
  2. Retirement

    Establishing A Revocable Living Trust

    This arrangement allows you to have more control over your estate - both before and after your death.
  3. Personal Finance

    Get Ready For The Estate Tax Phase-Out

    Changes to federal legislation will affect how your assets are treated once you're gone - be prepared.
  4. Personal Finance

    The Ten Commandments of Personal Finance

    Here are the simple financial Ten Commandments that, when faithfully followed, can lead to a secure economic future.
  5. Insurance

    How Life Insurance Works in a Divorce

    Learn the implications of life insurance in a divorce situation, and identify the steps you should take to ensure your policies are sorted out post-divorce.
  6. Investing Basics

    Do You Need More Than One Financial Advisor?

    Using more than one financial advisor for money management has its pros and cons.
  7. Insurance

    Cashing in Your Life Insurance Policy

    Tough times call for desperate measures, but is raiding your life insurance policy even worth considering?
  8. Insurance

    Avoiding The Modified Endowment Contract Trap

    To avoid MEC status, flexible-premium policies must cap the amount that can be paid into the policy over a period of seven years.
  9. Savings

    How To Set Up A Trust Fund If You're Not Rich

    You don't need to be worth millions to create your own trust fund. Learn how your money can be handled in the event of your death.
  10. Financial Advisors

    Passing an IRA to a Trust: The Good and Bad

    Creating a trust is a common estate planning tactic, but naming a beneficiary to an IRA to a trust may have unintended consequences.
  1. When is it a good idea to use an irrevocable life insurance trust?

    The irrevocable life insurance trust or "ILIT" is a trust that cannot be rescinded, amended or modified in any way after ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Are estate planning fees tax deductible?

    Estate planning fees may be tax deductible, but only if certain conditions have been met. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Can personal loans be included in bankruptcy?

    Personal loans from friends, family and employers fall under common categories of debt that can be discharged in the case ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Does renters insurance cover personal injuries?

    Renters insurance provides two main forms of coverage – liability and contents insurance – and they are offered together ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Does renters insurance cover jewelry?

    Renters insurance provides personal property coverage that covers your personal property – including jewelry – in case of ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Why might landlords require renters insurance?

    Landlords can require renters insurance to lower their own liability and insurance costs. According to data from the Insurance ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Cyber Monday

    An expression used in online retailing to describe the Monday following U.S. Thanksgiving weekend. Cyber Monday is generally ...
  2. Bar Chart

    A style of chart used by some technical analysts, on which, as illustrated below, the top of the vertical line indicates ...
  3. Take A Bath

    A slang term referring to the situation of an investor who has experienced a large loss from an investment or speculative ...
  4. Black Friday

    1. A day of stock market catastrophe. Originally, September 24, 1869, was deemed Black Friday. The crash was sparked by gold ...
  5. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  6. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
Trading Center