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Life Insurance Planning Insights from the 2015 Heckerling Institute

TOPIC: Life Insurance Planning Insights from the 2015 Heckerling Institute.

MARKET TREND: Clients focused on both income tax and estate tax planning are seeking a new balance from advisors that minimizes their overall tax exposure.

SYNOPSIS: The 2015 Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning addressed how legacy and succession planning has evolved since enactment of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (―ATRA‖). The Heckerling presenters focused on: (1) the right balance between income and estate tax planning, emphasizing basis management and planning flexibility, (2) ―hot‖ topics for the IRS, including grantor trusts, GRATs, and installment sales, (3) the widespread use of irrevocable lifetime trusts, like life insurance trusts, and the importance of trustee selection and powers, and (4) how to view and present life insurance as a flexible way to diversify the assets held by individuals and trusts.

TAKE AWAY: Advisors must think differently in how they approach clients regarding tax and legacy planning. Those advisors who can clearly demonstrate how life insurance can serve multiple objectives (income, retirement, and liquidity planning, family security etc.) as part of a client’s overall plan will be in the best position to reach new clients and maintain relationships with existing clients.
The following provides an overview of some of the life insurance observations from the 2015 Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, which we will discuss on March 24th on the AALU Essential Wisdom Series Webinar, ―2015 Heckerling Highlights: Practical Insights for Life Insurance Advisors‖ and also explore in upcoming WRMarketplace reports.

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Reprinted with permission by the AALU

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