Viatical and Life Insurance Settlement Contracts: Will They Work For You?

By Rstaib Posted : 05/01/2007

Viatical and life insurance settlement contracts allow a person to sell their life insurance to a third party in exchange for a reduced amount of its face value. The amount you get back is dependent on your health, age, death benefits and the number of years your life insurance policy is in force.

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In 1989, viatical businesses began as a way to give terminally ill AIDS patients early access to their life insurance. As time has gone by, life insurance policyholders with cancer, heart disease, and other life threatening illnesses have been opened up to the same privileges.

There are many legitimate viatical and life insurance settlement companies, but there are also many scams out there as well. It should be noted that some viatical companies target people with conditions such as high blood pressure, in an attempt to cash in on their hefty death benefits. It's important to be cautious when selling your life insurance policy, and be sure to do your research before you commit to selling it.

Make sure you know what you're doing

  • Ask questions and do not commit to anything unless you fully understand the terms and conditions.
  • Weigh the pros and cons.
  • Speak with a financial advisor who takes into consideration your financial circumstances, age, objectives and other circumstances.
  • Consider other investment choices as alternatives.
  • Check into what (if any) tax consequences there are when buying a viatical settlement. Are you able to use 401(k), IRA, Keogh, or other qualified retirement plans when making the purchase?

 

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