Life Insurance Agency - Richmond VA
Life Insurance – The Basics
Whether the policy is called: Permanent, Simple Ordinary, Universal, Whole, Cash Value, or Variable Universal, it is still life insurance. When the policy holder dies the named beneficiary receives a sum of money. The details of how much the beneficiary receives, and under what circumstances are all determined by the language of the original agreement. Life insurance is a contract that, in exchange for premium payments while you live, requires your death to pay a benefit. While this is not an abstract concept, it is probably one of the strangest financial agreements made every day by healthy, admittedly mortal, human beings.
You don’t need life insurance, but you might want it. Some people, for instance those with families, may want to have an insurance policy more than others. It is one type of investment in your legacy, and it has a fairly impressive history. By the end of The Second World War, most U.S. Citizens actually had life insurance, and most have it now.
History of Life Insurance
Life insurance has a long history. The famed Auger, Counselor and General Gaius Marius, of the Roman Empire, is first credited with creating a Burial Society; for the mutual benefit of his soldiers. The idea didn’t catch-on right away, but some years later…Famously, Lloyd’s of London was underwriting policies by 1789. Nowadays, many countries have different versions on the same concept. In 1759 Presbyterian Ministers, in the Presbyterian Synod of Philadelphia, started the first American life insurance company. Sadly, that still makes it largely a British accomplishment, since that is 15 years prior to The Revolutionary War.
Since that time insurance policies have changed and evolved along with the needs and demands of the citizenry and banks in their countries of origin. The insurance industry is now a multi-trillion (USD) annual industry, and comprises a double-digit percentage of most advanced economies’ GDP, including that of The United States. Many of the highest rated, and most financially stable insurers on the planet earth are proud to call The United States of America home.
Notably, since 2010, the number has been on the decline, and more people are underinsured or uninsured than ever. This is seen by some as a troubling development. Also, most new policies are “Term” (link) and are not designed to last the life of the insured. A competent advisor can help answer your questions, and also ask you questions about your goals and intentions that may be vital for your recipient’s long term financial security. Always seek expert legal advice and the help of a certified public accountant whenever you need additional clarification.
Life Insurance Benefits & Tax
Life insurance benefits are not usually taxable, when paid to an individual, so it can be a fantastic way to leave money to your family or friends. Maybe you just want the funds to guarantee a truly spectacular memorial celebration, like a Viking Funeral with a handcrafted longboat, or even to benefit a philanthropic cause. Whatever the impetus, it is important to have a good idea of who you are trying to benefit, and create a superior strategy around that plan. Luckily, you can always change this before you die. You may decide your beloved Cockatoo or Amazonian Parrot would be more suited to receive the funds, than your estranged children. Let’s face it, those animals require a lot of maintenance and may live 90+ years. That’s a very long time.
The thing about life insurance is that almost anything is possible, because it is essentially a contract which requires you to pay the premiums, until you die. There are so many variations on hybrid forms that you will definitely want to consult an experienced advisor, to determine what is, or is not, right for you.
Is Life Insurance Right for You?
You may not care what happens when you die. Vampires will not care about this, as they are [practically] immortal, and if you do not die the insurance company will be well within their rights to not pay. In fact, any class of immortal being is probably going to find it difficult to legally execute a legitimate life insurance contract. In the possible scenario where you are going to be cryogenically frozen immediately prior to legal-death, you are going to need some very specific language in your contract to determine whether life insurance is right for you. If you travel heavily, to the extent that you have ‘expatriated’ from the country of the policies origin, you may need to plan a trip home to say your final farewell. Have you always dreamed of simply wandering off in to the desert, or waiting on the crackling ice-float to mark your personal end-of-days? Planning to be ‘spirited-away’ by The Rapture? Not only will it be nearly impossible to prove you actually died without a death certificate, but many plans might consider these plans unrealistic, or even suicidal and disqualify you, cancelling any benefit. Your beneficiary may get nothing but memories and your collection of Fleetwood Mac 8-track tapes.
There are many cases where you may not care about life insurance now, but want it when you are older. This gets very tricky, also, because the older you are (the closer to death) the more expensive the cost (premiums) become; and, the harder it is to qualify for the product to begin with. Usually, the younger and healthier you are, the less expensive these policies become. It is usually possible to buy many times more insurance without increasing the premium by the same multiple. (ie 5x more insurance may only cost you 2x more money in premiums).
You may just be trying to avoid ‘The Taxman’ and have tens-of-millions of dollars you want to shield from estate tax, or other inheritance taxes, estate and probate fees. This is a nice problem to have, so maybe you want to leave millions to your heirs that you didn’t actually have in life, there are policies for that. Perhaps you would like to create a special insurance life trust, so that you can influence how that money is spent for years after you’ve shuffled off the mortal coil.
Life Insurance Advisory Services
We can and will help you be as eccentric, or as pragmatic as you the client need. Life insurance is not for everyone, but we will all die. It is worth a consultation to determine whether or not one of the available products, or even a custom policy is right for you.
We have received underwriting approval for a variety of clients with preexisting conditions, those beyond 80 years of age, the partially and totally paralyzed, those recovering from cancer and stroke, disabled veterans, and for those with a multiplicity of special needs. We will do whatever it takes to legally obtain you the security you deserve. As always, we look forward to serving you with respect, dignity and the high level of confidentiality our clients here, and around the world, have come to expect.