Learn whether to establish an irrevocable life insurance trust

January 21, 2010

Life insurance trusts are addressed

Q: I am going to purchase a fairly large term life insurance policy to protect my family in the event of my premature death. A patient of mine who is an attorney told me that I should establish an irrevocable life insurance trust and have it be the owner and beneficiary of the policy. Why would he suggest this course of action when the policy's premiums are relatively low?

Because an ILIT is an irrevocable trust, policies and proceeds (and any other assets) held by the trust are considered owned by the trust and not owned by you or your spouse. Because you won't own the policy at your death, the proceeds will not be included in your estate.

Send your money management questions to memoney@advanstar.com. Answers to our readers' questions were provided by Lawrence B. Keller, CFP, CLU, ChFC, founder of Physician Financial Services, a New York-based firm specializing in income protection and wealth accumulation strategies for physicians.