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With a spousal lifetime access trust (SLAT), one spouse makes a gift to an irrevocable trust using the gift tax exemption. The SLAT names the other spouse as a current beneficiary, which allows the trustee to distribute funds to the beneficiary spouse during their life.
Currently, an estate is not subject to the federal estate tax until it exceeds $12,920,000 (double for married taxpayers). In 2026, the current exemption will sunset, effectively cutting the amount in half. This piece looks at four options to protect your client's legacy before that happens.
There's no "one size fits all" answer for deciding who should own a life insurance policy that is being used for estate planning purposes. But, these considerations can help you compare beneficiary-owned and trust-owned policies to get the discussion started.
Clients who are philanthropic often own IRAs or other qualified retirement assets which carry potential tax problems. Naming a charity as the beneficiary of an IRA or including an irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT) may provide a more tax-efficient wealth preservation plan.
Although a deferred annuity is great for accumulating retirement funds, it's not an efficient vehicle to transfer wealth. Deferred income may be subject to income or estate taxes at death. Using annuity maximization, assets from the annuity can be repositioned to maximize value.
Estate planning is an important part of tax diversification, and life insurance can be an effective resource for achieving it. This example illustrates the benefits of the strategy with projected values and client options for coverage.
High-net-worth clients who want significant amounts of trust-owned life insurance create potential estate tax exposure. In this case study, the individuals loaned the trust money, with the trustee investing loan proceeds and making annual premium payments on a large policy.
Taxes get complicated. Retirement plans. Medicare. Social security. Estate and gift taxes. Health savings rates. Tax rate schedules. This tax reference pocket guide is easy to keep with you, with the information you need to keep at your fingertips while planning with your clients.
Taxes get complicated. Retirement plans. Medicare. Social security. Estate and gift taxes. Health savings rates. Tax rate schedules. Milage rates. This tax reference guide contains all the information you need to keep at your fingertips while planning with your clients.
Your clients may be planning to leave assets to children and grandchildren. But they can gift more than just cash. With life insurance, clients can combine cash value growth potential with death benefit protection for a tax-efficient gift that keeps on giving. See how it works.
The chart summarizes six proposed tax changes and the life insurance implications for each. It covers estate and gift tax changes, graduated estate tax rate, limitation on lifetime gifts and annual exclusion (Crummey gifts) to trusts, as well as changes to step-up in basis, GRATs and Grantor trusts.
Many high-net-worth individuals have maxed out their qualified plan contributions, leaving a shortfall compared retirement income needs. Using after-tax dollars to fund a tax-efficient life insurance policy can mimic the funding and structure of a Roth and grow cash value tax-deferred.