Life Insurance Left Behind

By Jackie Jacobs

Most of us acquire life insurance to help fund a personal need in case we don’t live as long as we hoped. Fortunately, many of us outlive our worst-case scenario. The typical result is that our insurance contract is in force, paid regularly (maybe even paid up), and growing in value even as our life is lengthening. In the meantime, perhaps our other assets grow to the point where the protection we sought isn’t as important.

The policy becomes a “hidden” asset evidenced only by a file that we add to only when the annual statement arrives. The value of the policy seems to be essentially frozen, even dormant. If it has little benefit to you today, what does that suggest if it really isn’t necessary for our heirs or to provide estate liquidity? Is there a better use for such a policy?

A future endowment named for you or a loved one could be the result. That nearly forgotten contract could also add significantly to an annual campaign or be given to support a capital project that is important to you. After all, this is an asset you have held for some time, and it can have an impact that reflects its history.

If you are currently paying premiums on an older policy or have insurance you may like to contribute, you may want to explore how it might work as a gift to charity. You may have many good options.

Feel free to call me without obligation at 614.338.2365 if you would like more information on this and other planned giving ideas.

Jackie Jacobs is the Chief Executive Officer of the Columbus Jewish Foundation, the Central Ohio Jewish community’s planned giving and endowment headquarters.

Article appears as originally published in the Ohio Jewish Chronicle, December 11, 2014.

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