Life insurance has generally had fairly good treatment from tax laws over years, thanks to a reputation for protecting widows and orphans, a New York Estate Lawyer reports. It was the contention of the life insurance companies that their policies kept people from becoming poor when the family breadwinner died unexpectedly.
Gradually, however, the clientele of life insurance policies have become wealthier. Now the companies are selling their policies to wealthier Americans, often as a part of complex estate-tax plans. The clientele is changing, and so is the traditional role of life insurance. Congress is always looking for more revenue and it may turn to life insurance companies, citing their traditional offense of helping orphans and widows is no longer valid.
New York Estate Lawyers have found no current legislation or proposals before Congress to change tax law for life insurers. It is very likely that any such attempt would be opposed by insurance companies – and any increase in taxes in a bad economy will always face a stiff battle.
The number of American families that own life insurance has been dropping for a while, in terms of percentage. Thirty percent don’t have any life insurance at all, which is a four-decade high, New York Estate Lawyers have learned. Some even believe permanent life insurance has become nothing more than a way for the rich to hide their money from gift taxes, estate taxes and death taxes.
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