Life insurance, a privileged instrument of property transfer

The insured is free to choose the beneficiaries of his life insurance policy in the event of death. These will benefit from a favorable tax regime. Christophe Vourlat, responsible for the development of Swiss Life’s private management, explains the comment procedure.

While there is a strong chance that future estate tax reform will be implemented in the future, life insurance is a simple and effective way to pass on your wealth. Provided you have well anticipated. As a reminder, life insurance contracts provide for the payment of a principal or annuity on a given date or at the end of the contract if the policyholder is still alive. If this is not the case, the savings that he has capitalized will go to one or more beneficiaries that he has freely selected and indicates in his beneficiary clause. This choice allows for the collection of the transmission objectives of the writer and the designer of people who are not necessarily his heirs conservataires, tells that his spouse or partner of pacs. “A very framed free choice, since in France, it is forbidden to completely disinherit one’s children”Christophe Vourlat points out.

Properly write your benefit clause

The traditional family now coexists with other models, including the recomposed family, which represents 9% of French families. 40% of them have more than three children. It is therefore more important than ever to write the benefit clause of your life insurance policy. In fact, it is the family situation at the time of death that will be taken into account to pay the capital of the contract. It is then important to study the current situation of the family and the verification, which are the consequences of the writer’s death are appropriate to the objectives of each to preserve the son together / pacs partner / concubine and children. “Life insurance is a great tool to protect your life partner”, confirms Christophe Vourlat. And the latter to recall “That a pacs partner is not an heir and that he will not benefit from the exemption from inheritance tax provided for by law since 2007, if he is granted a share of his inheritance.” It is therefore essential to choose the beneficiaries so that their share will be allocated. “. Carefully drafting its beneficiary clause will allow them to claim the policyholder’s life insurance after his death. According to Christophe Vourlat, “Unless it is necessary to formulate a name benefit clause, it is often preferable to use an indirect benefit clause (beneficiaries designated by their status – for example: “My children …”). This substitute clause is thus drafted. The benefit clause in the dismemberment of property is a precautionary manner because it has not passed that the advantages and it is sometimes a source of conflict »reports Christophe Vourlat, who continues: “Legal experts are available to report their advice. »

We are exempt from inheritance tax

Life insurance contracts do not, in the civil sense of the term, fall within the estate of the deceased. They benefit from a special legal and tax framework. If the contract was funded before the subscriber’s 70th birthday, it can be sent to the desired persons, without any taxation, for an amount of € 152,500 per beneficiary. Beyond this amount, the tax may be lower than inheritance tax. It is in fact limited to 20%, up to € 700,000, then to € 31.25% over € 852,500 per beneficiary, which is guaranteed to be guaranteed by the parent with direct line insurance can go up to 45%) . For premiums paid after 70 years, the benefits are more limited. L’abattement is then reduced to € 30,500 on the first verses. Beyond this ceiling, inheritance tax applies.

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