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Business Banking relationships are essential. Many businesses acquire a bank loan collateralised by the total value of their assets to survive financially. Suppose a business owner with a good relationship with his bank dies. In that case, the bank may call the loan if the business begins to experience financial duress and defaults on repayment.
Can life insurance reduce the risk associated with the family business debt? You can solve this in a family business such as a farm by insuring the oldest and succeeding generations using joint-first-to-die life insurance policies or individual plans. Where there are non-family businesses, each owner/partner should be insured to cover the debt. When the life insured dies, the tax-free life insurance proceeds can be used to pay back loans, win back ownership, and discharge any personal assets liens.
What if there is a Critical Illness? Also, for the same reason, consider purchasing a Critical Illness Insurance policy for each principal business owner and key persons. This product could provide a substantial sum of money to pay off debt if one were to experience a significant illness such as a heart attack or stroke. If an individual were incapacitated, they may need to be bought out by a partner or an heir (a buy-sell agreement should exist). The risk of a loan being called increases when an owner-manager is critically ill, and the bank manager loses confidence in the stabilising influence of that owner.
Note: Life insurance contracts should be compared with an advisor to understand what portion of the life insurance is tax-free.
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