Should A Life Insurance Policy Be A Part of My Estate Plan?
When planning for your future, you want to make sure that your debts are paid and that you have the money you need to enjoy your retirement, while still leaving something behind for your loved ones. As part of sound estate planning, having a life insurance policy in place may be in your best interests. For young people, deciding on the type of policy to purchase can be confusing, while older adults may think they are past the age where they need one. Understanding what different policies offer and how they can benefit you is an important part in making the right choices for your future.
Types of Life Insurance
There are two main classifications when it comes to buying life insurance: term life, and whole, or permanent, insurance. According to US News & World Report, the advantages and disadvantages of each depend in part on your particular situation.
Term Life Insurance
Term life insurance policies combine low premiums with coverage for death benefits that are in force for a fixed term or period of time. These policies are often the ‘default’ setting for people looking for life insurance, and can provide financial protection for your spouse, children, or any other named beneficiary against the loss of income as the result of your death. Term policies often run between 10 and 20 years with a guaranteed premium, with offers to renew the policy at the end of the term, generally at a higher rate.
Whole Life Policies
Whole insurance is often referred to as permanent insurance, as it runs the length of your entire life, at a guaranteed premium level. These policies generally cost considerably more than term life policies, especially in the beginning, but feature the added benefit of accumulating a cash value. Acting as a sort of savings account, you can invest a portion of your premium, as well as borrow against it without facing tax ramifications.
Determining Your Need for Life Insurance
Life insurance serves a valuable need by providing cash benefits that are paid directly to your survivors in the event of your passing. The New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) offers consumer information both on different types of insurance plans, as well as legally mandated insurance practices in our area. While age is commonly a factor when deciding whether or not to purchase a policy, the DFS advises that having a policy in place can help you with the following goals:
- Pay off debts and funeral expenses in the event of your death;
- Pay estate taxes and other costs associated with settling your estate;
- Provide income for your spouse and support for your children;
- Provide funds for retirement for yourself and your spouse;
- Pay education costs and provide income for children while they attend school.
Reach Out to Us for Professional Assistance
For assistance in determining if purchasing an insurance policy might be in the best interests of you and your estate, contact Cavallo & Cavallo today. Our experienced New York estate planning and asset protection attorneys offer the trusted legal guidance you need to ensure the financial security of you and your loved one is protected.