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Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILITs)

Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts 
There is a common misconception that life insurance proceeds are not subject to Federal Estate Taxes.  While the proceeds are received by your loved ones free of any income taxes, they are countable as part of your taxable estate and therefore your loved ones can lose about half of its value to estate taxes.  

An Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust is created specifically for the purpose of owning your life insurance policy. A properly established and administered trust holds the policy outside of your estate and keeps the proceeds from being taxable to your estate. The proceeds from the insurance policy can then be used to provide your estate with the liquidity to pay estate taxes, pay off debts, pay final expenses and provide income to a surviving spouse or children.  The ILIT will be the policy owner and beneficiary.  Once your trust is established, you use your annual gift tax exclusion to make cash gifts to your trust. Your beneficiaries forgo the present gift (in lieu of the future proceeds) and the trustee uses the remaining gift to pay the premium on the life insurance policy. 

There are many options available when setting up an ILIT.  For example, ILITs can be structured to provide income to a surviving spouse with the remainder going to your children from a previous marriage.  You can also provide for distribution of a limited amount of the insurance proceeds over a period of time to a financially irresponsible child.

Based in Raleigh, North Carolina we assist clients throughout Wake County, NC and Johnston County, NC as well as the cities of Cary, NC, Morrisville, NC, and Clayton, NC.



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