The Edmond Sun

Local News

January 4, 2013

ASK A LAWYER: Life insurance may be taxed

EDMOND — EDITOR’S NOTE: This is a weekly series of columns written by attorneys at Lester, Loving & Davies law firm in Edmond. This week’s column is part one of two about the possible taxation of life insurance.

Q: Will my children have to pay taxes on my life insurance proceeds?

A:
The principal amount of life insurance proceeds is not subject to income tax. As a result, life insurance benefits are often represented as “tax free.” Life insurance benefits are, however, generally subject to the payment of estate tax.

Under the current structure of federal and Oklahoma estate tax, most estates will not incur larger estate tax liability as a result of life insurance proceeds because most estates are too small to be taxed at all. But the future structure of estate tax, particularly federal estate tax, is unknown. As a result, you always should evaluate what impact a life insurance policy might have on your estate plan.

Life insurance death benefits are included in your taxable estate if you had any “incidents of ownership” during your life. You are treated as the owner of the policy, regardless of the name listed as the owner of the policy, if you have the right to change the beneficiary, assign or cancel the policy or pledge the policy as security for a loan, or if the policy reverts to you on certain conditions. Whether you actually pay the premiums for the policy is irrelevant to a determination of whether you own the policy.

The proceeds also are taxable if your estate is the beneficiary of the policy. If you name your estate as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy, the proceeds become part of your taxable estate. Even if you do not name your estate as the beneficiary, the proceeds will be taxable if you require the policy to pay your debts or estate expenses before paying beneficiaries.

If your life insurance proceeds are taxable because you owned the policy or because the benefits are payable to your estate, the entire proceeds may still get to your beneficiaries without the payment of any estate tax. This is true because no part of your estate, including life insurance proceeds, will be taxed until the total value of your estate exceeds the exemption amount set out in the tax code at the time of your death. Because you cannot know at the time you buy insurance what amount the estate tax exemption will be when you die, you should design the policy in a way to make the benefit tax free. We will discuss some options to consider in future articles.

MATT HOPKINS is an attorney for Lester, Loving & Davies P.C. More information is available at lldlaw.com. Send questions to questions@lldlaw.com.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 1,000th baby group.jpg INTEGRIS welcomes 1,000th birth since opening in October 2011

    Being the father of a new baby boy is pretty exciting, but being the father of INTEGRIS Health Edmond’s 1,000th baby made it even more special.
    “When we got to the hospital, the night-shift nurse told us we were in a race with another couple who had gotten there at 7 a.m.,” said Bryan Lane, the new baby’s father.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • okco fair 100.jpg Oklahoma County Free Fair offers competition, free fun

    Oklahoma County residents are invited to compete in the 100th annual Oklahoma County Free Fair as they take part in many activities scheduled just for them.
    The county fair will get underway Aug. 21-23 at the Oklahoma State Fair Park and will be highlighted by its open adult and youth along with 4-H and Oklahoma Home and Community Education categories, as well as its special contest and activities.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Great Expectations names 4 Edmond public schools ‘Model Schools’

    Great Expectations, a non-profit foundation that provides intensive professional development to teachers and administrators, announces four Edmond Public Schools have earned the organization’s highest distinction: Model School. Based on Great Expectations theory implementation, there are three categories of recognition, including Transitional School, Progressive School and Model School.

    July 31, 2014

  • Grieving children find support at Calm Waters

    Calm Waters Center for Children and Families offers free support groups for children, ages 3–18 and their families whose lives have been affected by death or divorce.
    Oklahoma continues to rank among the top states in the nation for unintentional and premature deaths, leaving single parents raising children. Additionally, Oklahoma continues to have one of the highest divorce rates per capita in the nation. These tragedies leave children feeling isolated, sad, and uncertain.

    July 31, 2014

  • Church hosts adult Vacation BIble School

    “Jesus is the Source” will be the theme of Edmond First Church of the Nazarene’s second annual adult Vacation BIble School.
    The progam will be from 6-8:30 p.m. Aug. 4-7 at the church, located at 3001 S. Boulevard. It will include a light supper at 6 p.m. and songs, games, storytelling and crafts beginning at 6:30 p.m.
    Presenters will include members of the congregation acting as Bible characters and a special performer will be in from Texas.

    July 31, 2014

  • officers killed 1.jpg 67 cops die on duty across country

    The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund reports that 67 officers have been killed in the line of duty during the first half of 2014 — a 31 percent increase from the same period last year.
    Of these 67 officers, 26 were killed in traffic-related incidents, 25 were killed by gunfire and 16 died due to job-related illnesses and other causes. California led all states with eight officer fatalities followed by Florida, New York, Texas and Virginia each with four peace officer fatalities.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Lankford, James 2011.jpg Lankford, rest of Oklahoma delegation vote to sue president

    A Democratic leader said the House does not have standing to sue the president after members of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation voted to do just that.
    At 6:28 p.m. Wednesday, members of the House approved by a 225-201 partisan margin H. Res. 676, which gives House leadership the authority to file a lawsuit challenging actions by President Barack Obam

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • UCO, local Y create community garden

    A new community garden is providing a transformative learning opportunity for students and helping stock UCO’s Central Pantry.
    The University of Central Oklahoma’s Volunteer and Service Learning Center and the Edmond Rankin YMCA are sponsoring the garden, providing a transformative learning opportunity for students, and organic fruits, vegetables and herbs for the food bank.

    July 31, 2014

  • MS_prisons 1.JPG DOC action could save $36.8 million annually

    The Oklahoma Department of Corrections expects to avert more than 2,100 offenders by 2021 saving more than $36.8 million annually, an audit states.
    Tuesday, State Auditor and Inspector Gary Jones  released the results of a performance audit of the DOC that was requested by Gov. Mary Fallin. The audit for the period July 1, 2007 through June 30, 2013, distinctly focused on governance, financial management and capacity management.
    Audit recommendations included:

    July 30, 2014 2 Photos

  • food bank.jpg Regional Food Bank receives donation

    At a special celebration event Wednesday, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation announced that over the last fiscal year they gave more than $30 million in cash and in-kind contributions to charitable organizations throughout Oklahoma. Additionally, the retailer and its Foundation have partnered with local food banks to provide more than 15 million pounds of food to residents.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza
Poll

The runoff race for the 5th District congressional seat is set for Aug. 26. If the voting were today, which candidate would you support?

Al McAffrey
Tom Guild
Undecided
     View Results