Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust for succession planning

If you have multiple heirs or multiple partners in your small business, using an irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT) can be an effective way to pass along your business after your death.

An ILIT is a trust set up specifically to own life insurance policies on a wealthy individual or business owner. Because it is irrevocable, meaning it generally can’t be amended or revoked, it can provide benefits to business owners that wouldn’t otherwise be available:

1. Avoid estate taxes

According to the IRS, $11.18 million of an estate ($22.36 million for married couples) is excluded form federal estate tax. ILITs can be used for those with large estates because the proceeds of the life insurance are held within the trust and therefore typically excluded from the value of the estate.

2. Transfer wealth to a minor

If your heirs are minors (and not ready for the responsibility of your business or the money), an ILIT can help. That’s because the ILIT places restrictions on life insurance proceeds until the minor reaches a certain age.

3. Protect your assets

An ILIT can be used to protect your business by shifting a portion of your assets into the trust, thus insulating those assets against claims from creditors or claims. This is especially important for high liability businesses.

Why Equitable?

Expertise in a complex business area

With Equitable, you have access to professionals who understand the needs of small business owners and can help you put a plan in place to ensure that your business passes to the successor of your choice.


Financial strength to fulfill our promises

Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company and Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company of America (Equitable America), are premiere providers of life insurance and annuity products, have been helping individuals reach their most important goals.  

Wide range of products to fit your needs

Equitable and Equitable America have a range of permanent life insurance products and riders that can be utilized to tailor your ILIT or fulfill your business succession needs.


Next steps

Want to find out more? You can call (844) 424-9463 (844-4-BIZINFO) to schedule a time to work together on customizing a strategy to meet your specific needs.

Some products are not available in all states.

Equitable and its affiliates do not provide legal or tax advice, clients should rely on their own advisors on these matters.

Please be advised that this document is not intended as legal or tax advice. Accordingly, any tax information provided in this article is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. The tax information was written to support the promotion or marketing of the transaction(s) or matter(s) addressed, and you should seek advice based on your particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor. Neither Equitable, Equitable America, Equitable Network or Equitable Distributors provide legal or tax advice.

Life insurance products are issued by Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company (New York, NY) or Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company of America and are co-distributed by Equitable Network, LLC (Equitable Network Insurance Agency of California in CA; Equitable Network Insurance Agency of Utah in UT; Equitable Network of Puerto Rico, Inc. in PR), and Equitable Distributors, LLC, 1290 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10104. For New York based (i.e. domiciled) Financial Professionals, life insurance is issued by Equitable Financial Life Insurance Company.

GE-138403 (08/2018) (Exp. 08/2019)