Diversified Brokerage Services, Inc. (DBS) is pleased to announce the addition of Steve Grant as its newest Field Relationship Manager for the Northeast Territory. Steve brings an important mix of experience in both the life insurance and long-term care insurance market, having worked previously for such life insurance carriers as John Hancock and Lincoln Financial. His passion is assisting financial professionals in the important discussions of both life insurance and LTC planning, making him a perfect fit for this role in working with financial professionals. Read More
While so many aspects of people’s financial lives have been shaken, life insurance continues to do exactly what it was designed to . . . serve as the foundation of a family’s financial security. While the value of many other financial assets have slipped, the death benefit of term life policies has remained the same, and the cash value of many permanent policies has continued to grow. Read Full PDF
Over the past few months, there has been a renewed interest in estate planning topics. The increased interest is likely due to the combination of the daily coverage of deaths due to COVID-19, historic high federal exemption amount, and low-interest rates. Recently, some of my calls involved the application of U.S. estate tax laws to clients who are not citizens of the United States, but either reside or own property in the U.S. Individuals who reside in the U.S., but are not citizens, could face significant estate and gift tax problems. Read Full PDF
September is Life Insurance Awareness Month (LIAM), a nationwide effort put on each year by LifeHappens, a nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness about life insurance to help more families get the protection they need. You can celebrate with us — and boost your sales numbers in the process. Here are 5 great ways
Take Advantage of LifeHappens Marketing Tools
Don’t reinvent the wheel. Utilize the LIAM marketing tools already out there. Life Happens, offers many marketing materials you can utilize during September. For instance, they have customizable educational flyers, brochures, and graphics. They also offer videos, needs calculators, resources featuring real-life stories and their 2020 celebrity spokesperson Brooke Shields, and social media posts and images you can share.
Contact Clients for a Free Policy Review
Use the buzz about Life Insurance in September to offer free life insurance policy evaluations. Offer to walk through an individual’s current life insurance needs and compare your findings with the coverage they have in place. Setting up a policy review will help you determine if your clients’ current coverage still makes sense for them. If it doesn’t, you can ensure you’re the one to offer them help. DBS makes it easy with our “Quick look” tool that allows you to get a snapshot of each client situation by submitting basic information about the clients and their existing coverage. Then, you know whether it makes sense to consider a full-blown policy review. DBS can help with that too and provides a full analysis. Contact your DBS Case Design Analyst for more information!
Use Technology To Your Advantage
The DBS mobile app allows you to run a real-time quote for your clients so they can see exactly how inexpensive it can be to protect their family. As you’re discussing their situation, you can make changes on the fly to get them exactly the right amount of coverage. DBS has all the esolutions available at your fingertips including eDelivery, Accelerated Underwriting, FASTerm, and iGo e-app to make the process quick and easy. In fact, many of our carriers offer a completely digital end-to-end experience!
Use Social Media to promote life insurance
Use your social media business profiles to promote the value of life insurance to your clients. You can incorporate quotes from 2020 celebrity spokesperson Brooke Shields, facts about life insurance, statistics, and more. Many carriers have FREE social media graphics, along with ready-to-go post language, and be sure to check out the DBS LIAM page with helpful resources as well!
Educate, Educate, Educate
The numbers and statistics make a compelling argument for the value of life insurance, so the more you can reach out to your clients to educate them, the more they’ll be inclined to make a purchase. Using life insurance-related statistics will drive your point home and such information will help get your audience thinking about their own personal needs. LIMRA and Life Happens’ annual Insurance Barometer Study tracks the perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors of U.S. consumers and can be a wealth of information for you to use to better understand your clients. Consider the following statistics that illustrate a very compelling line of reasoning:
- 70 percent of people say they need life insurance, but only 59 percent actually own it.
- 22 percent of people with individual life insurance policies and 39 percent of people who don’t have life insurance believe they don’t have enough coverage.
- Close to 40 percent of people wish their spouse or partner would buy more life insurance.
- 69 percent of people would feel the financial impact from losing their primary wage earner in two years or less.
- 24 percent of people who don’t have life insurance have insurance for their mobile devices.
Do you have clients whose assets have lost value as a result of the recent turmoil in the markets? Are some of these clients concerned that the losses will be detrimental to their wealth transfer plans? Are you aware that NOW you can help restore your clients’ wealth transfer plans by using life insurance death benefits to help stabilize estate values?
Your relationship with your clients is more than “just business.” Clients look to you to provide guidance on financial matters, including the amount and type of life insurance that is appropriate for their unique situation. This week, we’re sharing some key strategies and ways you can build relationships with clients. Plus, we recommend some product ideas that work – all laid out in a handy grid and based on specific age ranges!
If you ask any estate planning advisor to tell you the best time for estate planning, they would likely tell you it is when the amount exempted from estate/ gift tax (exemption amount) is high and asset values and interest rates are low. That is the situation we find ourselves in today.
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Situation: A producer contacted DBS’ in-house advanced case design resource to discuss an insurance structure for retirement age clients with $15 million net worth. The producer noted that the net worth was less than the current joint exemption ($23.16 million), but more than the prior exemption which is set to return in 2026. Also, the client’s net worth might decrease as they begin to use their assets to provide a comfortable retirement. Consequently, they were concerned about giving up control.
Problem: The clients were interested in purchasing a $5 million dollar second-to-die policy for the benefit of their heirs and the competition was suggesting the use of an ILIT. The producer wanted ideas that would help him capture the case.
Solution: The DBS advanced case design resource described two insurance approaches. The first technique mentioned was a Survivorship Standby Trust as a method of owning a second-to-die policy. With this approach, the insured most likely to die first is the applicant, owner, and premium payer. The contingent owner and primary beneficiary is the “Standby Trust.” The DBS associate described the Standby Trust as another name for an unfunded ILIT (insurance trust) or credit shelter trust established under the terms of the client-insured- policyholder’s estate document. Since one insured retains ownership of the policy, the clients retain control during the lifetime of the joint insureds, yet the proceeds are outside of the estate at the death of the surviving spouse.
For the second technique, the DBS associate described how the clients could take advantage of the current low Applicable Federal Rates (AFR) to lend money to a trust using the Private Finance Strategy. With the Private Financing Strategy, the clients would enter into a loan with the trustee. Like the above technique with this structure, the policy cash value is equal to the cumulative premium. This is retained by the client; however, the proceeds above this value are outside of the estate.
Both strategies could be modified in the future if the clients become more comfortable giving up control of the policy.
Result: DBS was able to offer the total solution, which included competitive product and technical consulting resources.
With the Applicable Federal Interest Rates (AFR) at historic lows and the amount an individual can gift sheltered by the gift tax exemption at a historic high, some of the most commonly used estate techniques are even more effective right now. One technique that is effective in a low interest rate environment is the asset sale to an intentionally defective grantor trust.
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Diversified Brokerage Services (DBS) is pleased to announce that Leah Mahoney has been named Director of Operations, effective July 1, 2020. This is part of several organizational changes that will establish an integrated and consistent approach to its business functions and will ultimately strengthen how it serves its customers. Leah’s new title reflects the more expanded role she is taking on for the firm, which will include overseeing the New Business, Support and Services, Licensing and Commissions departments.
“We’re excited about the direction we’re taking our organization,” explained Tori Van Dusen-Roos, Chief Operations Officer. “Because of the way our firm was growing, we had planned to make some organizational changes, but it is because of Leah’s incredible talent that we’ve been able to so quickly bring our vision to fruition. Leah has very easily assimilated into the culture of the firm and has already brought about significant change during her short tenure here. We are excited to see where this new alignment is going to take DBS and our customers in the future.”
Leah joined DBS in November of last year and her strong ability in leading change became apparent almost immediately after joining the agency. She successfully led the reorganization of the New Business teams to a regional model, selected new supervisors for each of the three regions, and led leadership training for all the Supervisors and Leads for the new structure.
As Chip Van Dusen, Chief Executive Officer, points out, “In the short time Leah has been with DBS, she has made her mark on the organization. We have been impressed with her decisive nature and strong ability to get things done. We have no doubt she will be a major element of our success as she leads her team to great heights as we continue to evolve alongside the changing nature of the industry.”
As part of this organizational change, Alaina Winson recently accepted the position of Operations Project Manager. She will continue her role as Support and Services Manager but will begin reporting to Leah as Director of Operations. Also effective July 1, Jessica Schultz has been promoted to Supervisor for the Licensing and Commissions department and will also report directly to Leah.
“The investment DBS is making in top talent shows our continued commitment to being a leader in the industry to support our advisors,” said Kurt Fasen, Sales & Marketing Executive.
The DBS Executive Leadership Team consists of George “Chip” Van Dusen, President – CEO; Victoria “Tori” Van Dusen-Roos, Chief Operations Officer; and Kurt Fasen, LLIF, LUTCF, Sales & Marketing Executive.