Kelley Rating (one asterisk = lowest, five asterisks = highest):
- Ease of navigation, design of interface and learning curve ****
- Instructional documentation and help system ***
- Carries out the goal of the product as advertised ****
- Overall usefulness ****
Insurance Trust Monitor is a web-based service that allows irrevocable life insurance trust (ILIT) trustees to outsource the review, analysis, management and administration of ILITs and policies held in such trusts. This service provides due diligence review and documenting of trust insurance policies and other trust assets. It provides analysis of the performance of policies and their economics.
Insurance Trust Monitor offers a back office production facility to complement the work of ILIT trustees and provide administrative services for ILITs. It maintains life insurance experts on staff to assist with these areas. It assists in educating trustees and mitigating liability for holding ILITs. This service checks the financial soundness of insurance companies and addresses other questions regarding placement of ILIT investments. Behind the scenes, Insurance IQ is at work. It reviews every policy entered into the system based on a number of criteria, including performance, illustrations, funding and premiums, and analyzes the trust assets in terms of the objectives of trust and whether the policies are serving the trust goals.
Insurance trusts can pose significant challenges for corporate fiduciaries, and real risks are involved in their management. Insurance Trust Monitor maintains an inventory of insurance policies held by ILITs, including acct no., policy no, beneficiaries, etc. It furnishes a release info form, bank corporate resolution, policy review questionnaire, policy illustration and other supporting pieces. It evaluates each policy, checks the insurance company integrity and rates the policy, furnishes a report on each policy, including grantors’ contributions, term conversion and no lapse guarantee provisions and tracks all things involved in the administration of such policies that could produce liability. It addresses risk management, provides compliance officers, provides a checklist for documents and analyzes Uniform Trust Code and tax issues.
Insurance Trust Monitor recommends needed rebuilds of trusts, works on fixing any issues that come up in trust administration and handles trust remediation. Insurance Trust Monitor does not sell life insurance, but works with outside advisors and product providers chosen by the trustee to provide the trustee with an uninterested third party to any trust transaction.
What’s It All About?
Insurance Trust Monitor’s services include review of the trust document, pre-acceptance and annual policy reviews and performance analyses, suggestions as to replacement opportunities and needs and tracking and documenting of administrative tasks. As stated by the publisher, its trust administration services include:
- Sending annual gift notices to the grantor.
- Sending reminders and tracking annual Crummey notices to the beneficiaries.
- Payment of insurance premium monitoring and tracking.
- Tracking of 5x5 & hanging powers.
- Trust document legal review.
- Electronic record retention and safe-keeping.
- Policy monitoring for all policies in the trust.
- Annual updating of the policy values.
- Tracking material policy changes.
- Ongoing monitoring of the insurance companies.
It inventories the ILIT by acct no., policy no, beneficiary, etc. It provides a release of information form, bank corporate resolution, policy review questionnaire, insurance illustration and other supporting pieces,. It also evaluates and rates each policy immediately with a report on each policy, grantors’ contributions, term conversions and no-lapse guarantee provisions. It tracks all things that could produce liability.
How it Works
The interface from Insurance IQ begins with a screen that analyzes the policies held by the trust, including policy grade summary, active policy status, policy review status, policy lapse projections, premiums due and administration fees.
The screens display a navigation pane on the left hand side with an information screen on the right hand side. The navigation pane includes access to Lists, Users, Global Settings, Carriers, Organizations, Accounts, Documents, Document Explorer, Action/Maintenance, Note Library, Custom Content, Workflow and an Action Console.
The trustee is given access to information prepared and compiled by this service through a series of screens. PDF reports are created and update reports are furnished on each policy anniversary.
A screen for the trust company trustee lists links, information, branches, contacts, carriers, trusts, policies, templates and settings. The links screen lists information about each trust, beneficiary information, Crummey settings and administration fees. The information screen also provides a review of the trust with document information, trustee provisions and Crummey provisions. It has provisions for notes, a log of actions and a listing of follow-up actions for each trust.
From the management of the account screen you may drill down to all contact information for a client and view all trusts and policies. Templates provide a process for selecting the policy, initiating Crummey letters and initiating remediation and other processes. Insurance carriers involved are listed and graded in a proprietary manner.
Another screen provides information to the trustee concerning all aspects of the trust, including letters, gifts and fees.
Other screens include facilities to manage Crummey balances, a trust agreement information form and a document review form. Documents are stored in the system, including copies of policies and trusts, and screens provide trust agreement information, document review and premium review.
Insurance IQ does a review of every policy entered into the system and analyzes performance, illustrations, funding and premiums. The system updates reports on each policy anniversary and creates PDF reports for ease of distribution among interested parties.
Insurance Trust Monitor's Portfolio Report provides an overall assessment of the trust portfolio with commentary and suggestions for each policy taking into consideration carrier diversification, total premium obligations, cost basis, loan balances, dividend strategies, cost of insurance, competitive analysis, consolidation opportunities, return on investment, rate of return and life expectancy considerations. As part of the report, it furnishes easy to understand performance reports on the policies, information and financial standing of the insurance carriers involved.
What About Help and Support?
Navigation and data entry is quite intuitive. A Help area is available for each screen. An instruction manual is provided and Help by chat is furnished.
Where Do You Get This Facility?
Insurance Trust Monitor is available from:
Insurance Trust Monitor, Inc.
Phone: 319 266 2766 or 866 384 2766
The Insurance IQ base is $175 per policy per year. ITM full trust administration service is $750 per trust per year with a one-time setup fee of $250.00. For complete pricing see http://www.youritm.com/BasicPricing. Custom quotes area available for special trusts and policies at http://www.youritm.com/CustomQuoteRequest.
Insurance Trust Monitor provides complete outsourcing and full service insurance trust administration and policy reviews to relieve corporate and other trustees from the burden of ILIT trust administration and enhance the profitability of ILIT administration.
Trusts & Estates magazine is pleased to present the monthlyReview by Donald H. Kelley—a respected connoisseur of the software and Internet resources wealth management advisors use to further their practices.
Kelley is a lawyer living in Highlands Ranch, Colo., and is of counsel to the law firm of Kelley, Scritsmier & Byrne, P.C. of North Platte, Neb. He is the co-author of the Intuitive Estate Planner Software, (Thomson – West 2004). He has served on the governing boards of the American Bar Association Real Property Probate and Trust Section and the American College ofCounsel. He is a past regent and past chair of the Committee on Technology in the Practice of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.
Trusts & Estates has asked Kelley to provide his unvarnished opinions on the tech resources available in the practice today. His columns are edited for readability only. Send feedback and suggestions for articles directly to him at email@example.com.