Episode-1888- Expert Council Q&A for 10-21-16 — 8 Comments

  1. John Pugliano is the man of all men when it comes to financial matters. I’ve been in the business for nearly 20 years and had no clue what a 770 plan was. But I learned something from him, and Jack, today, as I seem to do a lot with John,

    However, I needed to point out a couple things when it comes to life insurance and estate planning. Life insurance is 100% absolutely, unequivocally included in your estate at death. It does NOT escape estate tax. Inheritance tax only applies to individual states, such as NJ, MD and PA and a few others.

    Of course EVERYTHING you own is included in your estate at death. EVERYTHING! To include Life Insurance. I can not stress this enough. If you have a large life insurance policy and you think it’s going to escape estate taxation, you are wrong!

    Now what “rich” people do is they move ownership of the policy to an irrevocable trust. Not a living trust mind you an irrevocable trust, or they change ownership of the policy to someone else. THere are estate and gift tax consequences of doing this too and I’m telling you right now, if you think you can simply avoid an estate tax by transferring ownership without proper continual documentation, the IRS will have a nice surprise for your heirs.

    Is your Trustee filing appropriate 1041’s? Are there Crummey Letters going out AND being documented annually? Did you file the IRS Form 709 when you gifted the assets to someone else? No? Then your heirs will be in a world of hurt.

    I know this is a diatribe here, but I’m telling you, I deal with this crap daily and people, to include many attorneys, simply do not get what they are contending with when it comes to the IRS, never mind the local taxing authorites, NY state in particular.

    Secondly, if you have a Permanent Life Insurance policy you damn well better request an INFORCE illustration every couple yrs to make sure that puppy will survive you. If you don’t, you’ll be 76 yrs old with a million dollar policy with only 15k to support it. That sucker will lapse in the next couple yrs leaving you with NOTHING, No death benefit, no cash value! That is no joke and worse if you borrowed against it, guess what? You’ll have a tax hit that will rock your world.

    Lastly on a good note. NJ just repealed it’s STATE estate tax.

    So you can die there in 2018. However they still have an inheritance tax too, but hey, for now, this is a step in the right direction.

    • You are making this way too complicated. Say you are my son Joshinga and say my estate will be in excess of 3.5 million or whatever it is that qualifies for estate tax. Okay so all I do is buy the policy with you are both the owner and beneficiary of the policy.

      Now yes it is far better to put the policy into a trust, etc. That is generally when there will be multiple beneficiaries under one policy.

      The reason life insurance can become part of the estate tax is only because the person that died OWNED the policy, hence since they owned it it is part of the estate, if they don’t own it, it is not part of the estate. It is that simple.

      So if I bought a 4 million dollar policy but did so in your name, when I kick off you get the money and it is simply a settlement and not taxed. Placing the policy in trust accomplishes the same thing with greater control by me. But in the end it isn’t about the trust it is about who owns the policy.

      And yes, whole life for any other use, sucks ass!

      Buy term and invest the difference and you always win!

    • Agree 100%, the OWNER is what determines the estate. That is not debatable. And Jack, once again mi amigo, you hit it on the head in regard to OWNER being the kid AND beneficiary, with the dad being the insured. Could be some gift tax issues, if there is any sizeable cash value and you are giving the kid the money for premiums, but on term, nah.

      Of course, the vast, VAST majority of term policies don’t survived the insured anyway. So, if you are trying to create an estate with life insurance term is not the way to go.

      However, if anyone is reading this, be careful, very careful, of the unholy trinity where the owner, the beneficiary and the insured are three different people or entities. That is a very bad arrangement.

      Don’t know how you get the time to understand all you do Jack, but you’re a wealth of knowledge man. Crazy.

      • Again you are making it complicated.

        First the term I recommend is term to 90, most of those do pay out.

        Second as I said since you don’t have an estate tax until the estate is 3 or 3.5 million, most people never have an estate tax. So the purpose of life insurance for 98% of people is ONLY TO INSURE THEIR LIVES.

        If by 90 I am still around and my term expires, I will have no one depending on me to worry about. My final expenses will be paid for long ago. It doesn’t cost much to burn someone and toss their ashes into the wind.

        I own term to cover my wife if I die, we have term on her to cover me if she dies.

        Most people in our nation kick off around 75-85. I hope to beat the averages, and if I do I won’t give a damn about my life insurance at that point.

  2. Oh and another thing, on this little diatribe of mine about permanent life insurance. Life insurance is no different than a firearm. it’s an inanimate object thus it is neither good nor evil, even though many suggest permanent life insurance is inherently bad. It’s not.

    However sales people propose it saying things such as “this life insurance policy is paying 4%…” and leave it to the buyer to insinuate they will get a 4% rate of return. NO! That’s not how it works.

    The policy may CREDIT 4% but you certainly are not getting that as a rate of return. The crediting rate is BEFORE any fees, commissions etc. So, if you hear this, you simply say, “let me see an illustration.” the agent will show you one and I can almost guarantee your 10k initial deposit/premium will not be worth $10400 after year one. It’ll probably be worth less than what you put in.

    In fact a strong life insurance company with a 4% crediting rate after 10 yrs you’ll probably have netted a 2% rate of return on your cash value, depending on your underwriting. That 2% has grown tax free so it’s not a bad deal, AND you had insurance as well, but it’s a far cry from the 4% insinuated.

    Just another pet peeve of mine about the insurance industry.

    And I do carry term, Whole Life and Universal life on myself, my spouse and my kids. I also own rifles, shotguns and handguns. All of those products are indifferent in how I use them. They just exist to serve a purpose, however the end user decides.

  3. Wondering what’s the basis of the negativity on the financial tool of permanent insurance when used properly that can help the average person build more wealth and protect assets over multiple generations, while saving on taxes and having a guaranteed benefit? Is this from research, personal use or financial entertainers?

    I know of no other tool like it and have yet to find one.