Procrastinating Decision on a Life Settlement May Have Unintended Consequences

November 16, 2017

It’s encouraging to know that more seniors are becoming aware of the option to monetize and optimize their unwanted life insurance policies by selling them in the secondary market.

But for aging seniors who have been considering a life settlement and haven’t yet taken the first step to submit an application, there may be pitfalls to procrastination.

The following hypothetical scenario illustrates how delaying a decision could actually thwart a senior’s intentions regarding the use of the proceeds from a life settlement.

Imagine the situation where a senior (grandmother) was considering a life settlement in order to use the proceeds for the benefit of her granddaughter’s college education.  This senior put off the application process for several years because the child was still in middle school. But during that time, the senior was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and her disease progressed rapidly. The diagnosis and the progression of her symptoms prevented her from executing legal contracts – including her life settlement.

Without having previously designated a durable power of attorney that she trusted to fulfill her intent and wishes regarding a life settlement, the senior would be at the mercy of a court-appointed guardian (often a family member.) That family member (with full powers-of-attorney), may feel that the proceeds from the life settlement should be used to help compensate the adult family members who shared care giving responsibilities – and not for the benefit of the grandchild’s education.  According to the courts, they would be permitted to do that.

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month – a time when we are reminded of the importance of making important financial decisions for ourselves and our loved ones while we are still of sound mind. Unfortunately, planning for the risks associated with cognitive decline and incapacity in our later years is something many seniors lose sight of.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, more than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s and that number is expected to rise as high as 16 million by 2050. While Alzheimer’s accounts for 60-80 percent of cases, vascular dementia (following a stroke) is the second most common form of dementia.

As seniors age, their decision making skills and judgment can become impaired. It is estimated that 1 in 6 women, and 1 in 10 men, who live past the age of 55 will develop dementia in their lifetime. (See Top 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s). Once incapacity is diagnosed, any major financial decisions may require the involvement of a durable financial power of attorney, or absent that, court intervention and legal guardianship procedures.

While the above is only a hypothetical situation, it explains why it’s important to take action now to plan for one’s financial affairs in order that your wishes are carried out as intended.

If you are interested in learning more about life settlements and topics related to Alzheimer’s disease, we encourage you to read this article published by ThinkAdvisor entitled “Families of Alzheimer’s Patient Turns to Life Settlements”. This informative article was authored by the founders of one of Trust Life’s strategic partners, Asset Life Settlements.

If you have a loved one who is considering a life settlement, or you are a senior who has been wondering whether a life settlement is the most prudent financial recourse for your wanted policy, we encourage you to contact us to initiate the application process. If you or your loved one qualifies, there is no obligation to accept the offer. But at least you will have taken the first steps to execute the documentation should it be necessary to expedite your case, which we’ll be happy to do.

To receive a quick pricing analysis on your policy, or to begin the application process, call us at 800-216-2513.