Estate Planning

Estate Planning

What's Your Legacy?

Make sure your assets go to the people
and causes you care most about.

The main question that everyone eventually asks themselves is: “What am I going to leave when I die?” Just through this simple question we develop the needs for estate planning.  Most people hear the word “estate” and they think things like “I don’t have one, I’m not wealthy.” or “Why should I plan for one?” or “How am I going to pass inheritance down to my children, spouse, trust or significant others with minimizing their taxable liability?”

Estate planning isn’t just for the wealthy or the real estate tycoons – it’s for everyone!

We can help with your estate plan. PLUS, we have a product that can give you and your estate everything you want.  But first, let’s talk about the basics of estate planning.

What is an Estate Plan:

  • A plan for conserving and transferring one’s wealth to his/her family upon death in a way that maintains and increases the financial security of the survivors.
  • This process is often accomplished by a team of professionals which may include an attorney, an accountant, a life insurance agent, a trust officer and a financial planner.

When securing an estate you need:

  1. A Will, or Enduring Power of Attorney

What a Will can do:

  • Appoints trustworthy executor/executrix
  • Appoints children’s guardians
  • Establishes charitable gifting & planned gifting
  • Saves your family time and money

If you die without a Will:

  • You die without a will, you will have died “intestate”.  The court will appoint someone to act on your behalf.
  • By having a will you avoid this and you elect your representative and indicate your specific wishes.

What is a Durable Power of Attorney?

  • Allows you to appoint individuals you trust to make financial or medical decisions on your behalf should you be incapacitated.
  • Must be drawn up prior to your physical or mental incapacitation.
  • You may appoint contingent attorneys

How do you Create Your Estate Plan:

Step 1 – Prepare an inventory of your assets and liabilities

Step 2 – Define your estate planning objectives

Step 3 – Evaluate your objectives based on your current situation.

Step 4 – Determine what actions are necessary to achieve your objectives

Step 5 – Consult the appropriate advisors to implement your plan

Step 6 – Periodically review your plan

What are the possible consequences of not planning?

  • Higher taxes on estate
  • Higher probate costs
  • Delays in closing estate
  • Having decisions made for you and your family
  • Minor children placed at court’s discretion
  • Can cost your family much more than a proper plan

How the Knights of Columbus can help:

  • Superior life insurance products
  • Excellent guaranteed, probate-free, creditor proof retirement products
  • Investments with guaranteed results
  • Long-term care and disability income insurance
  • Free professional advice

When it comes to establishing an estate, there is no greater asset that you have at your disposal then the advisors you get by being a member with the Knights of Columbus.  We are here to help guide you through the ambiguity and uncertainty that the financial world places on us.

The Trust Policy or Survivorship Universal Life (SUL)

There is one financial product that should be at the core of an estate – our trust funding product.

Survivorship Universal Life (SUL) or our “Trust Policy” is a second to die life insurance policy.  With Survivorship Universal Life, a single plan covers two people (not necessarily spouses) and the death benefit is paid upon the death of the second insured.  The Survivorship Universal Life product is a flexible-premium, adjustable-death benefit life insurance contract but that accumulates cash wealth.

The Knights of Columbus Survivorship Universal Life Product (SUL) is designed to pass tax free money to your estate, family members, church, trust, etc.  It converts taxable dollars to tax free dollars to maximize your legacy. The Knights of Columbus has been the industry leader in providing a product like this for the past two years.


Why Get a Survivorship Universal Life Policy:

Usually, the death benefit from a Survivorship Universal Life insurance policy is intended to maximize legacy transference to the next generation. The death benefit can be used to settle an estate, such as paying federal estate taxes and other estate-settlement cost owed after both spouses pass away. The SUL policy can also be used in maximizing charitable giving, leaving money for other types of legacy planning.


Death Benefit:

The policy has no maturity date – it is not term insurance that goes away after the insured reaches a specified age.  As long as it is in force the contact pays the death benefit upon the second insured’s death.  The death benefit remains level unless a change is requested.  The Lapse Protection Rider guarantees that the base policy will remain in force as long as the requirements of the rider are met.  Therefore, by the meeting the Lapse Protection Rider’s premium requirements, a policy can maintain a death benefit guarantee on SUL much like a whole life guarantee.



Availability: Issue Ages 20 to 75 years old (Both insureds must meet these age criteria). Insureds do not have to be a spouse

Minimum Benefit: $250,000

Maximum Benefit: Whatever works for your Estate.


Questions and Answers:

Q: I’ve been considered uninsurable. Am I still eligible?
A: One insured can be uninsurable as long as the other insured is not rated. Each insured will be individually underwritten.


Q: Can I only do this with a spouse?
A: No, the two individuals do not need to be married.   They only need to be between the ages of 20-75 and ONE of the two at standard or better health.


Q: What is the “Trust Policy” or Survivorship Universal Life (SUL) Plan?

A: Survivorship Universal Life (SUL) or our “Trust Policy” is second to die, or survivorship life insurance program.  With the Trust Policy, a single plan covers two people – but the death benefit is paid only upon the death of the second insured.  Issue ages are ages 20-75.


Q: How is the Trust Policy Designed?

A:  It is a flexible-premium, adjustable death benefit life insurance contract that accumulates cash value.  The policy has one base coverage (not including additional riders).  This base coverage encompasses the fund value and the death benefit risk component.  The fund portion (“contract value”) of the coverage is like a flexible annuity.  Net premiums will be deposited and interest will be credited.  Clients may pay in money whenever they want to.  The second piece of coverage is the life insurance risk portion of the contract.  On a monthly basis, the insurance and expense charges are deducted from the Contract Value of the policy.


Q:  Can the billing for the Trust Policy plan be combined with other KofC product coverages?

A:  No.  Due to the unique characteristics of the policy, it must be billed separately.


Q:  Does the Trust Policy allow for loans?

A:  Policy loans are available after the first policy anniversary.  The loanable value is the cash surrender value.  The product loan interest rate can differ from other KofC loanable plans.  However, in most cases we expect the loan interest rates to be the same.


Q:  What are the allowed Non-Forfeiture Options (NFO), and what is the default?

A:  There are no traditional NFO options although some stated may require a reduced paid up option that would need to be elected by the owner.  If the client does not make sufficient premium payments, the monthly deductions will act as the extended term contract – the contract will stay inforce until the monthly deductions have reduced the cash surrender value to zero.  If the cash surrender value of the policy becomes negative, and the client has not fulfilled his requirements under the Lapse Protection Rider, the policy will lapse.


Q:  Can the policy owners make any changes to the contract amount?

A:  Yes!  The client can choose to decrease or increase the Contract Amount.  At the time of a decrease, the face amount must be greater than $250,000 and must remain equal to or greater than $250,000 after the decrease.  All Contract Amount changes will go into effect on the next monthly due date following approval of the request.  The new monthly deduction will be charged from that monthly due date forward, to reflect the change in the contract amount (and the net amount at risk).


Q:  Are premiums guaranteed on a Trust Policy (“SUL”)?

A: The policy is a flexible premium plan.  There is no explicit premium required on the ongoing basis.  However, the Minimum Monthly Premium on a Trust Policy is used as the basis for maintaining the Lapse Protection Rider.  The level of the premium is guaranteed for the like of the contract.  An increase in the contract amount will increase the Minimum Monthly Premium.


Q:  Can a “Trust Policy” or a Survivorship Universal Life Plan Lapse?

A:  In order for the Trust Policy to lapse, two things must occur:

  1. The Lapse Protection Rider has terminated, and
  2. The Cash Surrender Value of the policy is negative and/or insufficient to pay the Monthly Deduction for the mortality and expense charges.
Schedule a call today to get started building your estate plan or tailor the one you have!

**As noted above, the Lapse Protection Rider itself can terminate if sufficient cumulative Minimum Monthly Premiums have not been paid.  Policy holders will be given notice when the rider has terminated and will have an opportunity to place it back in force within 30 days.  If such action is not taken (i.e. respond with the necessary premium), the policy will lapse unless the Cash Surrender Value is brought to a positive position.  This could be a significant amount of money so keeping the Lapse Protection Rider in-force is important.**