Annuities & Life Insurance

Annuities are assets that may or may not need to be placed in Trust because the proceeds transfer contractually to the named beneficiary and, therefore, already avoid probate. However, if you wish the proceeds to be distributed in the same manner as the other trust assets (which is usually the case, especially for example if you want them released slowly over certain ages, etc.), then the Trust should be the owner of the annuities. Alternatively, you could name the trust as the beneficiary of the annuity, but one limitation is that your trustee won’t have access to such assets until post-death once they’re actually distributed to the trust and within the trustees’ power. You must instruct each insurance company or your insurance agent to designate your Trust as the owner or beneficiary, as the case may be. However, stretch-out opportunities regarding continued tax-deferral may be limited if the benefits are paid to a trust rather than to named individuals, so you may want to discuss with your financial advisor for the best solution to your situation. For that reason, sometimes people intentionally keep their annuities out of their living trust so that their living trust is neither the owner nor the beneficiary. In that case, sometimes annuity companies have their own “control from the grave options” and “stretch-out” provisions that may be helpful from a control and/or taxation standpoint.

Mike Massey Law can help you with your Last Will & Testament, Living Trust, Durable Power of Attorney, Medical Power of Attorney, Living Will, HIPPA Release, Transfer on Death Deed, Cremation/Burial Wishes, Pre-Need Guardianship, Guardianship preference for Minor Children. Local Texas Attorney/Lawyer may be able to help you with estate planning. Call 512-757-9065 or Email:


Mike Massey JD, MBA, MPA just might be the 195th most interesting person in Texas. He has 4 college degrees and he's working on a 5th:  BBS Accounting; MPA Master's in Professional Accounting; JD Law Degree; MBA Master's in Business Administration; BBS in Biblical Studies (in progress).

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© 2020 Mike Massey Law.  Managing Attorney Mike Massey, 8911 Capital of Texas Hwy, Ste 3210, Austin, TX, 78759.  Email:  Phone: 888-407-2407.  Mike Massey, Texas Bar # 24032584. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established. Privacy Statement.  Prices can vary based on your unique situation and potential add-on services.  Prices for in-office (in person) meetings typically cost more than virtual meetings that are done over the phone instead of in person.  Prices for virtual estate planning do not include an execution ceremony or notary, as those services are not available with our discounted virtual estate planning packages.