Life Settlements: Some Tips For Financial Professionals
Through use of life settlement agreements, producers may be able to offer older clients and prospects (typically over age 65) an innovative alternative to surrendering unneeded or cost-prohibitive life insurance policies.
This alternative is: Sell it for cash.
Imagine presenting a five- or six-figure offer on a policy the client was about to surrender. For the right person, this can open up new opportunities to position assets optimally for the future.
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Consider the realities: When an estate size has changed, a business has been sold, or intended beneficiaries are outlived, the purpose for which the client purchased the policy may no longer exist. Or, when a business owner or executive retires, the firms deferred compensation, key person, or buy-sell plan may have policies that are no longer appropriate.
As recently as five or six years ago, when such life changes occurred, life insurance did not always change with the client. The only alternative available was to let the policy lapse or to surrender it.
Today, by contrast, life settlement agreements can provide clients with a new way to unlock the value in their life insurance.
Here are some qualifiers:
- To sell their policies this way, clients should typically be over age 65 and be the owner of an individual life policy (typically, having a face amount of $150,000 or more).
- The clients policy must be assignable and outside the contestable period, whether individually owned or owned by trusts, foundations, not-for-profit organizations, or businesses.
(In general, an owner whose health has declined since the policy was issued will receive a greater life settlement offer than if little or no change has occurred.)
The actual purchase is a simple process, usually only requiring completion of a brief application and release forms. Typically there are no exams, paramedic visits, medical tests, or application fees.
Once the settlement has been completed and the policy has been transferred from seller to buyer, the client can use the money for any purpose. That enables the client to reposition assets in ways that support present and future needs.
Such agreements are not for everyone. For instance, many older clients still need their life insurance for the original or new financial purposes, and a policy in question may still be cost effective in relation to its purposes.