GOOD WILL FUNDING
Wills are like dentists. Everybody needs one. Nobody ever wants
to use one. Still, wills are a family preservation fundamental. They are the very
footing of the financial planning priority
Many life insurance agents used to take
on the responsibility of promoting wills.
They knew first-hand the trouble a messy
estate could cause. Lawyers couldn’t
be counted on to promote wills because
messy estates pay them much better than
neat ones. It became the agent’s job.
me, and I’ll send you a copy.)
The idea of good will funding and the
Un-Will adds instant relevance to the life
insurance buying process for consumers.
Rather than losing them in a gimmicky or
alternative-use discussion, will funding
focuses on the essential, plain-vanilla use
of life insurance — tax-free cash at death.
This works because wills create obligations for estate trustees or executors that
require cash for fulfillment. Read yours.
If these obligations are underfunded, the
will’s intentions will not be fully realized.
If unfunded, they will not be done at all.
Neither outcome is desirable for a family.
The will writer’s legacy is lost.
Good will funding helps prospects create a will that reflects their wishes. It then
ensures there is sufficient cash to make
those wishes a reality.
It also avoids the costly alternative of a
court-written will. If you don’t have a will,
the courts will create one, adding great expense, delay and disruption at the worst
possible time. The will you write is much
less expensive than the one you don’t.
funding with life insurance guarantees
your legacy. It also ensures that the debts
you create don’t last any longer than you
do. Your dreams can live on even when
you don’t. Life insurance backs up your
The impact is great. To a family, the
money they don’t have to fund your will
obligations is much more important than
the money you do have for, say, your retirement (much of which ends up with the
Here’s the good news: The cost to adequately fund a will (buying term life insurance for 1% or 2% of the amount necessary) is similar to that of managing your
retirement assets (at 1% or 2% MER).
This way, will funding explains life insurance needs simply.
Consider “pre-funding” wills. Life insurance can arrange for the needed cash
before you make a will. If you have to do
one, fund it before you write it. And remember that today is the only day you can
be sure to do pre-funding. No one has a
lease on tomorrow.
“Good will funding helps prospects
create a will that reflects their wishes.
It then ensures there is sufficient cash
to make those wishes a reality.”
Regrettably, that role faded as agents became financial planners, consultants, and
advisors. But the need for wills and “good
will funding” never faded.
The “Un-Will” was a key tool in this approach. It was a humorous, silly, will-like
list of the unintended consequences of not
having a will. It started discussions and
made it so prospects could give the matter
But when I searched for the Un-Will recently, I found no trace of it anywhere. So,
I rewrote it from my recollection. (E-mail
Finding the funds
There are only four ways to fund your
1. Sell assets for cash after death at fire-sale prices.
2.Borrow against assets that you’ll
likely sell later, at fire-sale prices, if
3. Win just the right amount of cash at
the right time — also known as the
4. Buy life insurance today.
There is just no other way. Good will
And, when you start with your own
good will funding, your conviction will
make you that much more effective with
prospects. Then, everyone will win… ex-
cept maybe the lawyers.
Jim Ruta re-energizes performance for life
insurance professionals. He is an MDRT Main
Platform alumni and president of Expert
Institute, Productivity and Performance
Consultants. Connect with Jim on LinkedIn,
Twitter and Facebook. Reach him at