THE RICH AND LIFE INSURANCE
The Rich grow and accumulate wealth to achieve their desired goals. The process of growing and accumulating wealth may be through running businesses solely or in partnership with others. They may invest substantially in private business entities as major shareholders. They may also invest in assets that generate income over the long term in their country of residence and in other countries.
Inheritance is an overriding goal that drives the rich to create wealth. To preserve and retain their wealth in the family in the event of death, they need a good understanding of the factors that can erode the value of their wealth. One of such factors is the tax that accrues to the government from the estate of deceased persons.
Transferring the estate of deceased individuals as an inheritance to their beneficiaries provides a good source of income to governments of nations all over the world. Besides, in many jurisdictions, governments see inheritance tax or estate duty as a good means of wealth redistributions among the citizens. The citizens enjoy the benefits of wealth redistribution when governments use the fund from the tax to provide infrastructure.
However, beneficiaries of an estate suffer financially through a reduction in estate value due to inheritance tax, and the cost of procuring the title document. Procuring title documents to the estate may become complicated when the rich diversify their assets across nations. Tax treatment differs from nation to nation, but it is a common denominator. It requires appropriate
steps and use of tools like life insurance to minimize the effects.
INHERITANCE TITLE DOCUMENTS
On death, the estate of deceased persons legally devolves to their personal representatives who hold it in trust for the beneficiaries until they complete the distribution. The representatives must obtain their title before they can deal with the estate. They can be Executors or Administrators. They are Executors if the deceased died testate. A person dies testate if they made a valid will, named the Executors who are willing, and able, to carry out the instructions in the will. The court appoints Administrators for a person who died intestate (without a will).
Executors and Administrators need a grant of representation for their title. In most jurisdictions, the Probate Division of the High Court issues the grant. The court issues a grant of Probate of Will (a court-sealed copy of the will) to the Executors, or a Letters of Administration to Administrators, on payment of the relevant tax. If the deceased own assets in other nations, the Executors or
Administrators must reseal the grant in those countries after paying the relevant tax before dealing with such assets.
It is important to note that the process of obtaining a grant requires the expertise of legal practitioners who specialize in probate matters. The legal fees for processing the grant further reduce the value of the estate.
“Why do the Rich need life insurance?” The simple answer is financial protection of their estate against the effect of inheritance tax and the cost of processing title. It is the subject of our next discussion.
Profile of Amos Adeoye Falade
Mr Falade is a 1980 graduate of the University of Ibadan. He holds a Bachelor of Science, Second Class Honours (Upper Division) Degree in Economics (1980) and Master of Communication Arts Degree (2002) from Ibadan. He is an Associate, Chartered Insurance Institute, London (ACII) 1985 and Associate, Chartered Institute of Stockbrokers (ACS) 2010. He also holds the Authorized Dealing Clerk’s Certificate of The Nigerian Stock Exchange (2011). He is a Member, Equipment Leasing Association of Nigeria (ELAN); Member, Institute of Financial Planners. He is also a Fellow of the West African Insurance Institute.
He specialized in Life Insurance and Pension in his insurance career that commenced in 1975. He attended several courses on life insurance including Actuarial Aspects of Life Insurance by Swiss Re/West African Insurance Institute, Monrovia, Liberia (1984) and India’s National Insurance Academy (1997).
He taught several generations of student life insurance and pension preparatory for the professional examinations of the Chartered Insurance Institute, London from 1987, and Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria from 1989. Since 2002, he has taught Pension
Planning & Administration and Life Insurance at the West African Insurance Institute, Banjul, The Gambia where he is a Visiting Lecturer. He is also a resource person for the Association of Investment and Portfolio Managers.
He held top management positions in the financial services industry. He was Head of Pension in Niger Insurance (1982 to 1988); General Manager (Life and Pensions), Nigerian French Insurance Company Limited (1988 – 2003); General Manager/Chief Executive Officer, Guardian Express Assurance Limited (2003 – 2008) where he retired. He was Managing Director/Authorised Dealing Clerk, Golden Capital Plc (2011 – 2014). He is currently a Stockbroker/Dealer on The Nigerian Stock Exchange.
He held several positions in the insurance industry before retiring in 2008. He was Chairman, Life Offices Committee (2003 – 2006) and a Member of the Governing Council of the Nigerian Insurers Association (2007 – 2008). He represented the Association in many national assignments including the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Committee on Pension (2001/2002), and Central Bank of Nigeria’s Financial Systems Strategy (FSS 2020).
Mr Falade is a writer. He has written many articles on life insurance and pensions published in local and international professional journals. His four books on
Life Insurance and Life Annuity are in the process of publication.