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How Life Insurance Can Help Reduce Financial Burdens on Your Loved Ones After Your Death

Burial Insurance With No Waiting Period policy can help reduce financial burdens on your loved ones after your death. But every policy is different.

Before you buy a policy, consider your financial situation and the living standards you want to maintain for your loved ones. You’ll also want to understand how these policies work.

What is burial insurance?

The main types of life insurance are term, whole life, universal and variable life. Term life offers the lowest cost but has an expiration date, while whole and universal policies provide coverage for your entire lifetime as long as you pay the premiums. Each type has advantages and disadvantages.

Generally, term policies require less medical underwriting and are easier to obtain than permanent policies. They can be converted to permanent policies at a future point, but they typically have higher rates than permanent policies. Some people prefer to purchase a temporary policy and then convert it later.

Permanent policies are more expensive but also offer a guaranteed death benefit and cash value component that earns interest. The size of the cash value build-up varies from company to company.

Some permanent policies offer more flexibility than others, including a choice of a level or increasing death benefit and the ability to skip premium payments. These include universal life and indexed universal life.

Both term and permanent policies can be designed to cover a specific event or period, such as a mortgage or business loan, or to provide income to a beneficiary after your death. Some policies even have a rider that allows you to borrow against your life insurance policy.

Other options include first-to-die (where the payout only occurs when the first policyholder dies) and second-to-die (where the payout is made after both policyholders pass). For this reason, many people buy life insurance as part of a comprehensive financial plan. A financial professional can help you determine the amount of coverage you need and guide you through the different types of life insurance. They can also present the options that best fit your goals and budget.

Life insurance provides a lump-sum benefit for beneficiaries to pay off debt, cover expenses, or supplement income following the policyholder’s death. Many people purchase life insurance to provide financial security for their loved ones in the event of an untimely death.

Life insurers typically evaluate a policyholder’s risk based on their age, health, lifestyle and family medical history when pricing their premium. A financial professional can help you understand the different types of life insurance, calculate your coverage needs, and present potential options that best fit your circumstances.

Some whole life insurance plans also accumulate cash value, which is a portion of your premium that goes toward the policy’s investment component and accumulates interest over time. Depending on the policy, some of the cash can be withdrawn or used to pay the premium. Withdrawals are generally taxable if they exceed your basis, which is the total amount of premium payments you have made. It is common for the accumulated cash value to surpass the sum of all premiums paid in some long-term policies, especially those that have been in force for years.

Some policies come with a contestability period, which is the period during which a company may investigate your application for a reason other than misrepresentation. If they conclude you provided inaccurate information on the application, they can cancel your policy, decline to pay the death benefit or only pay out a reduced amount. This is important to know because it can have a significant impact on your family’s finances. There are several ways to receive your death benefit, including a lump sum payment or a retained asset account that allows you to earn interest on the money.

Typically, a life insurance payout is not subject to taxes as long as the proceeds are paid directly to the beneficiary. However, it is important to understand how these payouts are taxed before making any financial decisions based on life insurance.

A common example is when someone transfers their life insurance to their beneficiaries. This is usually done in order to avoid paying taxes on the death benefit and provide a tax-free inheritance. However, the IRS has special rules regarding the transfer of life insurance policies. These rules include the three-year rule and ILITs (individual life insurance trusts).

Another way that a policy can be taxed is when a person accesses the cash value of their life insurance through loans or withdrawals. These withdrawals and loans are taxable if they exceed the amount of their policy’s cost basis. The cost basis is the total of all premium payments made and any other non-taxable contributions. In general, net out-of-pocket premium payments and dividends increase the cost basis, while withdrawals and policy loans decrease it. It is important to speak with an insurance professional before deciding to take out a loan or withdraw from your life insurance policy, as this could impact your death benefit.

Additionally, it is important to understand that a life insurance policy can be subject to income taxes if it is classified as a modified endowment contract (MEC). This means that the IRS will treat any amounts above your policy’s cost basis as income and tax these first. It is critical to work with an insurance professional if you think your policy may be classified as MEC and avoid unnecessary taxation. If your policy is sold, it may also be subject to income taxes if the selling price is greater than the sum of your cumulative premiums plus any additional amounts you paid to the policy.

A rider is an add-on to your life insurance policy that gives you additional coverage under certain circumstances. Life insurance riders come in many forms and are available from a wide variety of life insurance providers. They can increase your death benefit or cash value, allow you to convert a policy to another type of life insurance, or provide for a reduced premium.

The types of riders vary from provider to provider and depend on the type of life insurance you have. A few of the most common riders include:

Accidental death benefit rider: This rider allows beneficiaries to receive double the death benefit amount if you die from an accident. It’s commonly included in whole-life policies, but it can also be added to term life insurance. This rider is sometimes called the accelerated death benefit and is typically only offered by some of the highest-rated life insurance companies.

Waiver of premium rider: This rider covers your policy’s premium payments if you become disabled and can’t work. It’s often used with long-term care insurance and can be a good option to consider for people who are at risk of developing chronic or terminal illness.

Child rider: This rider adds coverage for children on the policy and typically includes a conversion clause that allows your spouse to purchase a standalone whole life or term life insurance policy when the term ends. It’s important to review your situation with a financial professional to determine whether this is the right coverage for you.

There are a number of other life insurance riders, and some of them can be costly or difficult to qualify for. The best way to learn about the available riders is to discuss your options with a licensed life insurance agent or broker, like those at Policygenius. They can walk you through the entire process and offer transparent, unbiased advice.

The underwriting process is a vital component of life insurance. It determines whether an applicant is eligible for coverage, how much coverage can be offered and the premium amount. It can take less than an hour or several weeks to complete, and it requires an application, medical exam and data analysis.

To evaluate your health, an underwriter will look at factors like age, family medical history and current lifestyle. They’ll also examine your financial details to ensure that you are not applying for more coverage than what you can afford to pay for. They’ll also consider the insurable interest — someone who would suffer financially if you died.

Applicants with a lower mortality risk will pay less for their life insurance. To help them determine this, underwriters will examine your height, weight and medical records. They’ll also consider your lifestyle and habits, such as smoking, drinking and driving. If you have a high-risk occupation, such as flying or deep-sea fishing, this could increase your rates.

In some cases, an underwriter may ask for your Motor Vehicle Report to learn more about your driving history and record. They’ll also look at your family medical history, which can indicate the likelihood that you will develop certain diseases. They will also ask about your drug use, including illegal substances.

In some cases, underwriters will assign you a substandard rating or decline you altogether. To avoid this, you can explore options that don’t require underwriting, such as guaranteed issue life insurance. However, these policies typically have low coverage limits and higher premiums. Alternatively, you can choose an alternative, such as accelerated underwriting. This option is usually more convenient for those who are in good health, as it doesn’t require a medical exam and will allow you to get your policy faster.