Legal Blog

The Weekly Scenario from Steve Shane – 9.23.13

Question:  I set up an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (or “ILIT”) a few years ago.  The trust owns a whole life policy and I would like to access the cash value of the policy.  What are my options? Answer:  In general, you cannot directly access the cash value of your insurance policy that is now owned by the trust.  However, if permitted by the trust, you could potentially borrow from the trust.  In this case, you will want to be sure that the loan is fully documented, interest is paid at a market rate of interest and the loan is repaid in time.  Moreover, if your spouse or child is a beneficiary of the trust, many trusts provide that distributions may be made to such individuals for their maintenance and support needs. Comment:   Term policies are often times ideal for ILITs (assuming having a trust own such policies comports with your plan) for the reason that a settlor does not “feel” that he or she is really giving anything up by setting up the trust.  A term policy essentially has no real value while you are living, but can be quite valuable in the event of your demise. If you have questions about the need for an ILIT or anything else, please don’t hesitate to reach out. Steven E. Shane Principal Offit│Kurman Attorneys At Law 301.575.0313 Washington 443.738.1513 Baltimore 410.218.9339 Mobile 301.575.0335 Facsimile Please note the above material discussed is intended to provide only general information. Do not, under any circumstances, solely rely on this information as legal advice. Legal matters are often complicated. For assistance with your specific legal problem or inquiry please contact me directly.