Questions and Answers from the book “The Wit and Wisdom of Professor PPLI: How to Achieve Exceptional Asset Structuring with Private Placement Life Insurance”
PPLI Keeps You Dry
Professor PPLI, the client in our dialogue is upset about the condition of his assets. How might PPLI assist him?
A properly structured PPLI policy functions somewhat like a trust in that it can hold multiple asset classes. To name them individually, the policy can hold:
- Real Estate/Physical assets;
- Hedge Funds/Alternative Asset classes;
- Private Equity;
- Intellectual Property;
- Yachts and Private Jets;
- Alternative Currency denominations.
The insurance company becomes an excellent “home” for multiple asset classes in that:
- The insurance company is beneficial owner of assets held in the policy;
- The insurance company is listed as beneficial owner on bank accounts;
- Transactions are done in the name of the insurance company;
- There is no look through to policyholders (certain structures).
The discussion in this Part turns to how a client understands or fails to understand an explanation by an advisor. Professor PPLI, how would you explain PPLI to a client in simple, introductory terms?
I usually begin by saying that PPLI an extension of the retail version of PPLI, Variable Universal Life Insurance, but it functions more like a trust. With proper structuring it can hold almost any asset class. The assets are not subject to taxation once inside the policy, and pass as a tax-free death benefit in most jurisdictions. Most policies are owned by a trust, and the insured life can be any family member or members who have an insurable interest in the policy.
The fees are very low, usually less than one percent of the assets inside the policy. The policy set up fee is usually around one percent of the assets value. The cost of the life insurance is priced institutionally. The cost is only the wholesale reinsurance company charge with nothing added by the insurance company. These charges are a fraction of the cost of a retail insurance product. The policy also provides excellent asset protection coupled with a correctly written trust.
A paragraph in this Part mentions the function of life insurance in a PPLI policy. Professor PPLI, can you please elaborate on this?
The life insurance component largely depends upon the family’s aims. If estate planning is paramount, we would use certain policy designs. If access to cash value is key, other policy designs would work better. We can even design a policy where the death benefit is only 5% of the total asset value inside the policy. The death benefit is very much a bespoke element of the policy.
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