Individual Wealth Transfer
Life Insurance Case Design (Life Assurance 360™)
Whether you are evaluating existing coverage or seeking new insurance, The Wealth Transfer Group uses a unique five-step process called Life Assurance 360™ to make certain that your policy fits your current needs and continues to serve its intended purpose for the duration of the policy.
By taking a comprehensive, 360° approach to designing, implementing and managing life insurance, we believe that the outcome produced for our clients is better than when each of these steps is addressed in isolation…that the whole is indeed greater than the sum of its parts.
In this step, we use our proprietary Life Assurance Design Questionnaire to educate you about your life insurance options while gathering information about your goals, preferences, and risk tolerance. Additionally, our one-page Pre-Underwriting Questionnaire helps paint a high-level picture of how your medical history may factor into the overall plan design.
Our strategic back-office partner, Valmark Financial Group, simplifies the life insurance application process by providing a confidential and highly personalized service to help coordinate the client’s application paperwork and necessary medical requirements. These services are offered exclusively to the clients of ValMark Member Offices and their allied professionals.
These private insurance services are made possible by:
- Proven methodology and technology
- A dedicated team of experienced insurance operations specialists
- Strong relationships with the industry’s leading insurance carriers
- Over 50 years of experience providing private, sophisticated services to valued clients of ValMark insurance professionals.
What many people don’t realize is that one of the single greatest impacts on the price of a life insurance policy is professional management of the medical underwriting process.
We accomplish this through a proprietary informal underwriting process where we complete 90% of the underwriting BEFORE an application is submitted to an insurance company. This preliminary process enables us to pre-qualify underwriting offers from insurance companies, while protecting your Personal Health Information from the Medical Information Bureau so that your insurability remains unchanged.
SITUATION: A couple in their mid-70’s was looking to acquire a large amount of guaranteed survivorship premium insurance. Mr. Client had a recent history of atrial fibrillation, including an episode that caused him to be admitted to the hospital. We approached 15+ insurance companies, and several declined to consider him. Eight applied severe to moderate table ratings, increasing his premium, while two offered standard rates.
APPROACH: Through our negotiations, we were able to negotiate one company to a preferred offer, but for a very limited amount. We then circled back to the one other company offering a standard rate and were able to convince them to issue our client at preferred for a larger amount. Now having two preferred offers, we approached those companies offering moderate ratings and negotiated two additional offers, preferred for $5M and standard for amounts between $5M to $30M. In total we had offers at preferred for $15M and offers at standard for $30M.
RESULT: Mr. Client asked how much they should buy. We advised the preferred offers were well priced and recommended against the standard offers which were not. Mr. Client agreed and purchased the preferred policy ($15M). Four years later, the client wanted to acquire an additional $15M and we were able to obtain preferred rates from every company we approached. Our client remembered that just four years earlier we had recommended against the standard offers, and was thankful for our expertise in underwriting, design, and quantitative analysis. The end result was $30M of insurance placed at preferred rates.
SITUATION: A business owner wanted to make a large charitable gift to a local university and was seeking ideas for his planned gift. He would also be facing a substantial estate tax problem at his death. The client was 79 years old and had recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer with a long history of high blood pressure and hyperthyroidism.
APPROACH: We inquired if the client had considered establishing a charitable remainder trust with low basis appreciated stock. We pointed out that giving appreciated stock to the trust allowed him to avoid paying a capital gain tax, allowed the trust to pay him a stated amount for the rest of his life, and gave him a large up front income tax deduction. At his death, the assets in the charitable trust would immediately go to the local university. We believed we could acquire insurance on his life and that the large income tax deduction he would receive and the high income he would retain from the charitable remainder trust could pay for the premiums in a wealth replacement and estate tax trust. However, given his health conditions, we knew this route would be tough.
APPROACH: Our office had seen a history of inconsistent lab numbers from this particular lab and believed the results were inaccurate. We negotiated with the insurance company to have new labs performed by a different lab company of their choosing. Just in case, we (with the client’s physician’s approval) advised the client to go on an extremely low-fat diet, avoiding all dairy, fatty meats, and white pastas.
RESULT: Four weeks later, the lab results showed the client’s cholesterol at 199 and triglycerides at 140. With these results, we were able to get our client a preferred offer from the insurance company.
Individual results may vary.
Before submitting an application, we collect all of the evidence required to render an underwriting decision so we can ensure your information is accurate. Any gaps can be clarified with your physicians before any evidence is submitted to the insurers. Also, contextual information can be added to help insurance company underwriters understand the big picture – why you are seeking insurance coverage, what you are doing to address any health issues, etc.
As the life insurance industry changes with time, periodic policy reviews are more critical than ever. Products are becoming increasingly complex and a greater number of variables can affect the performance of any policy. At The Wealth Transfer Group, we provide detailed, objective reviews of in-force life insurance policies for our clients to help ensure that their expectations of promised policy benefits are being met by the policy’s actual performance results. If we discover this is not the case, or if your goals have changed, we will work with you to provide alternative solutions that meet your objectives
SITUATION: We were contacted by an estate attorney regarding one of his clients. The clients’ insurance trust had purchased a survivorship policy many years earlier which was a combination of 70% permanent and 30% term insurance. A bank trust company was acting as the trustee. We performed a policy analysis for the estate attorney and found that the insurance company had greatly reduced dividends over the last 18 years causing the term portion of the original policy to disappear. The trust was going to face substantial future premiums to keep the base policy which was now only 70% of the original policy.
RESULT: We had the existing insurance company provide us copies of all correspondence with the trust company about this policy. The trust company had ignored all mailings regarding the class action lawsuit and time had expired to participate in the settlement. The clients’ counsel confronted the trust company and raised three issues including breach of fiduciary duty, willful negligence and conflict of interest (they were collecting commissions on the old policy). The trust company resigned as trustee. A new corporate trustee was hired, and the trust successfully locked in 85% of the death benefit using a tax-free exchange with no more premiums guaranteed. We use guaranteed products, especially in this low interest rate environment, whenever possible so insurance companies cannot voluntarily decide to increase premiums. This is one reason why, to date, we have placed over $900 million of in force life insurance for our clients.
SITUATION: One of our client’s trusts had purchased a $10M survivorship policy. The plan was to pay $165,000 in premiums for 10 years to secure a fully guaranteed death benefit forever.
Life insurance policies sometimes outlive their purpose. If you believe your policy may not be worth keeping, there are alternatives to surrendering the policy for the cash surrender value, one of which is called a life settlement. A life settlement is the sale of an existing policy to a third-party institutional buyer for a cash payment.
Our strategic back-office partner, Valmark Financial Group, has developed a unique compliance-oriented marketing system called The Life Settlement Advocacy Program™ to guide us through a life settlement transaction and ultimately provide the highest level of value for a client’s life insurance policy.
“As you move through the days and years of your life, you do not go unnoticed. You leave a trail, an impression, footprints… unquestionable proof that you existed… in the lives of those around you”
– BRETT BEAVERS & TOM DOUGLAS | SOMETHING WORTH LEAVING BEHIND
Preserve and protect your life's work
We believe that estate planning is more than reducing taxes. Proper estate planning preserves and protects the assets you have worked hard to accumulate, and enables your heirs to meet their financial obligations with no detriment to their quality of life.
Our comprehensive estate plans directly address the federal transfer tax system of gift, estate, generation skipping, excise and income taxes. Depending upon your specific needs, our plans include:
- Strategies to reduce estate taxes
- Charitable giving techniques with income tax savings
- Continuation plans for family-owned businesses
In the process of developing your plan, we work closely with your estate planning attorney and may employ sophisticated tools and techniques such as family limited partnerships, living and generation skipping trusts, and many other vehicles of testamentary planning. The result is a plan that preserves your assets after death and increases your family’s protected assets.
Transforming your life’s work from success to significance
Good financial management is a lot of work—work that sets a good example. For children and grandchildren, there’s no substitute for having witnessed the care, thoughtfulness, attention to detail, and discipline that good planning demands.
Too often, families have witnessed the final breath of a loved one, setting into motion costly, avoidable financial consequences. The tragic result is a message that represents a contradiction to a responsible life of hard work.
The Wealth Transfer Group helps clients transform their life’s work from success to true significance…passing value, responsibility, and ethics to those they care about. The result? A meaningful legacy that completes the circle…the purpose for which we were put on this earth.
SITUATION: One of our female clients in her early 70’s, never married, with only one niece and grandniece for relatives wanted to establish a chair at a state university in her father’s name. She had a large portfolio of very low basis stock with strong dividends. The university also wanted to acquire her home for future expansion.
APPROACH: We helped her negotiate a charitable gift annuity. A charitable gift annuity is an arrangement where the donor transfers assets to a foundation and the foundation promises to pay a lifetime income interest to the donor. The promise to pay the income is guaranteed by the foundation. She then transferred low basis stock to the university foundation which guaranteed her higher income than she was currently receiving regardless of the performance of the gifted stocks. We also negotiated a right for her to occupy her home until her death. She then purchased a policy to replace the value given to the university for her niece and grandniece. The premiums were funded by income from the charitable gift annuity.
SITUATION: Our office was contacted by another financial advisor to assist a couple. The husband was one of the first 10 employees of a hugely successful tech start-up. He had founders’ shares, non-qualified stock options, stock appreciations rights, and restricted stock. The couple said they were just the stewards of this found wealth and they were looking to give $100M of it to various charities over the next year. The catch was that they wanted it to be anonymous.
APPROACH: We educated the couple and their financial advisor about how to make charitable gifts anonymously. They mistakenly thought a private foundation was private from public eyes when in fact the opposite is true. We were able to guide them throughout the process. While we had assisted other clients in making large charitable gifts, this was the first time, but not the last, that one of our clients generously donated nine figures to charity.
RESULT: The chosen charities received large donations anonymously with no strings attached. Since this time, we have been able to help numerous clients navigate the charitable arena. Our clients have funded over one-quarter of a billion dollars to charities to date, with known charitable bequest of just under another one-half of a billion dollars.