“Sometimes people don’t know that when you’re 18-plus, you need a health care proxy,” Eliopoulos said. “So we were doing those on a complimentary basis for anybody that needed them. At the very least they could have that in place because, unfortunately, we saw the flip side that clients would get sick, or loved ones, and it was too late if they didn’t have those documents in place.” >>>MORE: FDA expected to OK Pfizer vaccine for teens within week She said these really aren’t documents that people should be drafting themselves. They have to be very specific and have to be witnessed and notarized.
“For example, we saw it after 9/11, and of course, we’re seeing it now as a result of this pandemic. In fact, a recent survey from LIMRA found that 29% of Americans said they’re more likely to buy insurance now in the next 12 months because of COVID. The interest has broadened across ages because of the pandemic, where before I think people tend to think more about it as they aged, but now even younger people are as well.” “Whenever there’s an event, like, a mass loss of life involved naturally, the interest increases,” said Amy Hennessey of Securian Financial.
While estate planners and life insurance agents saw major increases in the last year, they also saw families who signed up too late. It’s the conversation that no one wants to have but we all need to, and the seemingly never-ending increase in COVID deaths changed a lot of minds. Not just for creating trusts and wills, but even life insurance.
“Current federal estate tax exemption is $11.7 million per person and President Biden’s proposal during his campaign was to lower that to $3.5 million per person so a reduction of $8,000,000 plus per person, which at 40% tax rate is a pretty big, pretty significant.” >>>MORE: Cape Cod woman plants hundreds of flags at Hyannis rotary to honor COVID-19 victims Estate planning attorneys said even though President Joe Biden’s proposal is not yet law, many people fear if it is, they will not be able to pass down as much money to their kids anymore.
“The end of 2020 was the busiest I’ve ever been in the 9 or so years doing this,” Caswell said. “It’s probably a combination of both. For the wealthier people, I think definitely the tax changes.” The two things guaranteed in life are death and taxes, and Joshua Caswell of Howland Evangelista Kohlenberg LLP said those two things are creating record business for estate planners.
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- Estate planners and life insurance brokers see huge increases in business amid the pandemic – Boston 25 News
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