Advantages of Last Survivor Life Insurance

A last survivor life insurance policy is a type of whole life coverage intended for spouses. The primary purpose of this coverage is estate preservation. When property is bequeathed to a spouse, no federal estate taxes are charged. However, when the surviving spouse dies, the estate then becomes subject to extremely costly federal taxes. In order to avoid burdening heirs with massive expenses, some married couples select last survivor protection, which provides for the cost of estate taxes in its benefit.

Estate Tax Relief

Last survivor coverage, also called survivorship life insurance, can provide tax relief to the beneficiaries of the policy. Couples commonly choose this policy to insulate their legacy from prohibitively expensive fees. This type of plan does not pay out benefits until the death of the last surviving policyholder, which allows it to supply heirs with the funds they need to pay for burial and funeral expenses as well estate expenses. When the last insured person dies, the heirs will have to pay out to the Government on the amount by which the value of the estate exceeds the current exemption amount. These can be taken directly out of the policy proceeds.

Inheritance Preservation

Because these taxes are usually due in full within nine months of the last surviving spouse’s death, heirs often have to scramble to come up with the money to foot the bill. Commonly, heirs must take out loans, sell property, and/or liquidate other valuable assets in order to meet the tax burden. With these products, the policyholders’ heirs are spared this expense and trouble. The heirs will not have to cut into their inheritance in order to pay the deceased’s estate taxes.

Other Benefits

This type of insurance has several other benefits over individual coverage that we’ve enumerated below.

  1. More lenient medical underwriting standards. The medical standards to qualify for coverage may be relaxed for one of the policyholders because of the payouts associated with the second death.

  2. More affordable premiums. A single survivorship policy is cheaper than purchasing two separate policies for individual coverage.

  3. Reduced income tax burden. These policies have lower “economic benefits” that are reportable on federal income taxes because they are classified as split dollar plans. The income tax burden is thereby reduced for these kinds of policies.