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You've worked hard for your money. As you contemplate passing it on to the next generation, keep in mind there's someone who wants his cut – Uncle Sam. The good news is that life insurance can help.

You can pass your legacy to the next generation without your beneficiaries having to pay income tax on the money they receive. So, if you buy a policy with a $250,000 death benefit, your heirs will actually get $250,000. Sounds like a good deal, right?

Estate taxes & life insurance

If you've accumulated so much wealth that you're facing estate taxes, life insurance can help with that too. Life insurance can offset what you owe, so you can pass on all or most of your estate.

Death benefits are paid income-tax-free to your beneficiaries, but proceeds are generally considered an asset of the estate for estate tax purposes. You should consult a competent estate planner or attorney to make sure life insurance ownership is structured properly to avoid being considered an asset of the estate. Keep in mind that neither the company nor its representatives give legal or tax advice.

Life insurance trusts

You can create an irrevocable life insurance trust to remove any life insurance proceeds from your taxable estate. This is a type of trust where a grantor creates a trust and transfers all ownership of any assets into it. Assets that are placed into the trust will be considered as gifts, but cannot be removed by the grantor. Once the grantor passes away, the benefits will be given tax-free to the beneficiary.

Learn more about taxes on your life insurance policy by talking to your insurance professional about using life insurance to maximize the amount of money you leave to your heirs.

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Product, coverage, discounts, insurance terms, definitions, and other descriptions are intended for informational purposes only and do not in any way replace or modify the definitions and information contained in your individual insurance contracts, policies, and/or declaration pages from Nationwide-affiliated underwriting companies, which are controlling. Such products, coverages, terms, and discounts may vary by state and exclusions may apply.