Most life insurance trusts are funded by permanent insurance, either universal life or whole life. This is generally not an inexpensive proposition, but compared to estate taxes, by far the smaller hit.Â
I mentioned in a previous post that the ownership of a policy for estate purposes really needs to be a trust. I also mentioned that there are policies that will double the amount of coverage for a long enough period to ensure that a trust is set up and that the IRS three year rule is put to rest.Â
Another way to accomplish the same thing would be to take an even less expensive route of securing your estate with term life insurance on you and your spouse. This does what I have always preached loudly, it puts the insurance in force. Something is always better than nothing.
Worry about the details later. Do you really think your heirs will care if you bought term insurance or universal life if you die six months from now. Considering the cost of a permanent second to die policy, you and your spouse will likely pay a lot less to carry double the amount of term insurance.Â
Once the trust is set up, apply for the permanent coverage through the trust, and replace the term policies once everything is approved. The IRS doesnâ€™t have any problem with that plan of action.Â
Bottom line. Whether it is through an independent life insurance agent, an estate planner or estate tax attorney, learn the proper way to use life insurance to protect your estate. Once you understand how it should eventually be set up, donâ€™t waste any time waiting for the attorney to set up a trust. Put adequate life insurance in force and make any changes you need down the road.