7.03.2014

Life Insurance

If you are interested in giving up your whole life insurance policy because you need the funds to pay for a serious or life-threatening illness. Rather than surrendering your policy for the cash value, an accelerated death benefits rider would allow you to access money from the death benefit in the event that you are diagnosed with a terminal condition. However, keep in mind that these funds would be subtracted from the payout beneficiaries receive when death occurs.

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The life settlement option

A life settlement is when a life insurance contract is sold to an investor in exchange for a sum of money, which often exceeds what would have been paid to you if your life insurance contract was allowed to lapse or was surrendered for cash value.

A life settlement could be an option if you have determined that you no longer want your whole life insurance policy because you no longer have a life insurance need.

Confirm your life insurance needs

Jim Holtzman, an advisor and shareholder with Legend Financial, Pittsburgh, Penn., recommends that you contact your life insurance agent or financial advisor to do a needs analysis. This is an assessment that can help you define your financial needs and goals, and to account for ongoing responsibilities such as education costs, mortgage obligation, or retirement needs. Since there may be tax consequences to modifying or terminating a whole life policy, consultation with a qualified tax advisor is also a good idea.

Holtzman adds that he is cautious when clients want to get rid of a life insurance policy. There are several options that should be considered first, including paying premiums from cash value or through policy dividends. For those who have a need for the funds, the cash value can be used to pay for a long-term care policy or a combination of long-term care and life insurance.

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