TOLI Trustee Alert: Oops, the Policy Lapsed…Now What?

The most common fear for a life insurance trustee is that somehow the ball is dropped and the policy in their care lapses. After all, a trust-owned life insurance (TOLI) trustee, even if they are not sophisticated in all the nuances of life insurance policy management, should at least be able to keep the policy in force. But unintended lapses do happen, and when they [...]

Take the TOLI Challenge: In a Permanent Life Insurance Policy, the Cost of the Policy is Equal to the Premium – Yes or No?

The answer is an emphatic NO. Some permanent life insurance policies, specifically guaranteed universal life (GUL) and Whole Life (WL), have required premiums, though WL out of pocket premiums can be reduced by dividends, paid-up addition cash values or policy loans. But the premium paid is not the actual cost of the policy and finding the underlying costs on the policies is a challenge. For [...]

Court Case Shows the Potential Liability for an Advisor, Attorney or CPA Acting as Administrator (or Trustee) of a Life Insurance Trust

Twenty-one years ago, Charles Hunter Montgomery set up a life insurance trust naming his daughter, Kimberly, as trustee. He was guided on the purchase by his longtime advisors at a major wirehouse firm in his hometown, who also agreed “to administer the investment account to maintain that life insurance policy .” (1) The policy, a $2M survivorship life policy on Charles and his wife, was [...]

Take the TOLI Challenge: Can You Answer This?

What steps should you take if a grantor says they want to surrender their policy? In the decade-plus that we have been managing life insurance for TOLI trustees, we have noticed that the weak link in their services usually is remediation. The inability to analyze policy options in changing situations is an area of future liability. Some trustees we have spoken with have surrendered policies [...]

Professional Designations: Training Your Staff Helps Your Team and Your Firm

Over the years, we at ITM TwentyFirst have been leaders in peer education. The TOLI Handbook, a free download available here as a PDF, provides industry peers with a single source guide for managing trust-owned life insurance (TOLI) trusts and policies. We have, over the years, provided hundreds of hours of professional CE for several professional designations. Our staff is encouraged and incentivized to seek [...]

TOLI Trustees Should Heed NY State Regulator Warnings on Universal Life Policies

The acting Superintendent of the New York State Department of Financial Services, reacting to almost "1,400" complaints from in-state consumers, recently issued an alert about universal life policies that provided insight for any trustee managing universal life policies. The alert focused on flexible premium universal life policies without secondary death benefit guarantees. As pointed out in the publication, universal life is meant to be a [...]

Life Settlement Market Is Healthy and TOLI Trustees Should Take Notice

Over the years, the life settlement industry has had its ups and downs. During its heyday in 2007 and 2008, consumers sold $12 billion in life insurance death benefits to investors in the secondary market. But the economic downturn dried up investor money, and as late as 2015, just $1.7 billion in death benefits changed hands. (1) For many years, life insurance provided just two [...]

Take the TOLI Challenge: Only Permanent Life Insurance Policies Can Be Sold, True or False?

Earlier this year we started the TOLI Challenge with the question: What is most important when determining the liability of a trustee’s actions? Click here for that answer.  Today, we have a follow up true or false question. Only permanent life insurance policies can be sold in the life settlement market, True or False? It may surprise you that the answer is false – some term [...]

Trustee Alert: Managing Guaranteed Universal Life Policies

Universal life policies came into the market offering premium flexibility and transparency that was unknown in whole life policies. However, universal life policies lacked one thing those whole life policies had - death benefit guarantees. If you paid your premium on a whole life policy, the policy death benefit was guaranteed to be paid. The earliest universal life policies (current assumption) were fixed investment products [...]

Prudently Managing ILITs – It Is More Than Just Tracking a Policy

When we first ventured into the trust-owned life insurance (TOLI) servicing business, our lead product was a policy tracking and trust administration system - what is known today as InsuranceIQ, and it was light years ahead of anything TOLI trustees had at their disposal. At the time, most trustees simply got an in-force ledger every couple of years, along with a rating update for the [...]

Rating Agency Upgrade for Life Insurance Industry Bodes Well for TOLI Trustees

Less than a year ago we reported that AM Best published a special report in which the rating firm issued a negative outlook on the US life insurance and annuity market.  They cited the continuing low interest rates, a flattening yield curve, regulations, potential for market corrections and the need for innovation as the major reasons for the outlook.  The report highlighted one potentially harmful [...]

Take the TOLI Challenge: Can you answer this?

What is most important when determining the liability of a trustee’s actions? Over the years, we have noticed that the knowledge of TOLI trustees varies from trust company to trust company. After publishing the TOLI Handbook in 2018, we thought we would “chunk it down” in 2019 with the TOLI Challenge—a series of questions designed to test the knowledge of the typical TOLI trustee. We [...]

Another Good Year at Heckerling

The first thing you notice after entering the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort and Convention Center is the lineup of vendor booths set up in the hallway – the overflow from the cavernous convention center hall.  This year’s Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning appears to have been a great success.  The number of attorneys attending was up, and those putting on the session attracted more [...]

Join ITM TwentyFirst at the 53rd Annual Heckerling Institute of Estate Planning

We have three office locations across the United States, and as I write this, none will see 40 degrees as their high-temperature today, so it is no wonder we are looking forward to heading south to the sunshine of Orlando, Florida, for this year's Heckerling Institute of Estate Planning session from January 14-18.  However, it is much more than that. It has been about 15 [...]

Best Interest Standards for Life Insurance Would Be a TOLI Trustee’s Best Friend

As a TOLI trustee, you have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure that every transaction - either a new policy sale or replacement is not only suitable for your client, but also in your client’s best interest.