February 2012

Life Insurance Reviews: What Trustees Should Know (and Do)

Estate Planning
Shari A. Levitan
Someone serving as a trustee of a life insurance trust may not have examined trust-owned policies with the same scrutiny as used with respect to other trust assets. The role of trustee may have been taken on as a favor to a client or, if a bank or financial institution, because someday there may be an opportunity to manage life insurance proceeds. The trustee may not know how the policies are really performing. After all, an attorney likely cannot bill the client for the time an in-depth review will take. The old adage of “no good deed goes unpunished” is often true when it comes to trustees who hold life insurance policies in trust.

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