The question was: I am considering using a single premium immediate annuity as part of an estate plan for my clients. What are some factors I should keep in mind about doing this?
The answer is: A primary goal of many (if not all) estate owners is to ensure income for themselves for their lifetimes. This goal often surfaces in discussions between clients and advisors when considering lifetime gifts.
“I might need that money” is perhaps the most common objection raised by many clients to suggestions that they utilize the gift tax annual exclusion in making lifetime gifts to heirs.
To the extent that the estate owner is guaranteed that he or she (and his/her spouse, if applicable) can be assured of required income no matter what, annual gifts to heirs (whatever the reason for making them) may be far less worrisome.
If, having secured this required income–perhaps by purchasing an immediate annuity–a client feels able to make more lifetime gifts than he or she otherwise would, the result can be both greater net wealth transferred to heirs (due to lower transfer tax and estate clearance costs) and greater emotional satisfaction. One can live to see his heirs enjoy lifetime gifts. One can also see how well such gifts are managed.