Insurance policies are often a significant part of a customer’s estate. However, individuals outside of the insurance industry may have trouble understanding the planning and management issues associated with these policies. Many articles focus on strategies for high net worth individuals, the great policies they buy, and the sophisticated techniques they use to fund those policies. Not much is written about what our board member Charlie Ratner describes as “just wealthy”, however. However, practitioners are often asked to help these customers make the best decisions about how to design their life insurance programs and purchase the products that will serve them well over time.
One issue that has come to the fore is the need for affordable long-term care insurance (LTC). Customers can be confused about the different products on the market and which ones to consider. “Choosing the Best Fit for Long-Term Care,” p. 34. 22, by Nancy Simm, describes how to identify and select the right type of coverage for a client’s circumstances.
Another topic that has been widely debated is how the current low interest rate environment has caused many insurance policies to expire due to existing laws that limit customers’ ability to add premiums to their policies. However, a recent change hidden in the law removes the outdated interest rates that are used to determine whether a contract qualifies as an insurance policy for income tax purposes. As a result, buyers of newly issued permanent life insurance policies with present value are better able to make their policies more stable over the long term. “New Laws for New Directives”, p. 14, by Eric Eklund, Brendan Costello and Dennis McMahan, explains how the change will help policyholders move forward.
This month’s edition also includes our special report on Art, Auctions and Antiques. The art market has changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, for example due to the transition from live to virtual auctions and the increase in digital sales. Due to the tense economic climate in which they operate, galleries and auction houses may become insolvent or no longer meet the obligations of their broadcast agreements. The articles in this month’s special report provide advice on how best to navigate this new world.