Hardworking Filipinos, who accumulate wealth over their lifetime, usually face dilemma when they do estate planning to turn over their properties or money to their loved ones when they pass away. This is because estate tax is imposed, which is equivalent to a significant amount (usually up to 20% of the assets).
That is why many of our elderlies adopt several strategies to lessen the amount they have to pay to the government when legally transferring properties to their children or relatives. Some ‘donate’ their wealth to their family members, a scheme that incurs donor’s tax worth up to 15% of the assets’ market value. Others ‘sell’ their properties so they would shoulder only 7.5% in sales tax.
The problem with such cost-cutting strategies arises when ownership, and all the rights, to the assets are fully transferred to recipients, who most of the time are not wise enough to manage and keep their inherited wealth. Imagine what happens when old people are left with nothing in their retirement years.
Moreover, in many cases, assets of individuals who pass away are not transferred before death, leading to huge estate taxes, which could accumulate to about P1.2 million for properties worth P10 million. The tax takes another 20% when those assets amount to more than P10 million.
Worse, the family of a deceased person only have six months to settle estate taxes. Failure to do so within the period incurs additional charges such as a 25% surcharge plus a 20% interest imposed, take note, per year. After a few years, the government will have the right to foreclose the property and sell it through a public auction, if the heirs still fail to settle the estate tax and penalty charges.
To provide Filipinos with a better option for estate planning, Sun Life of Canada (Philippines), Inc. has launched a new campaign that focuses on its SUN Smarter Life, a protection product providing double life insurance coverage to a policyholder until age 100.
‘Smart’ life insurance
Upon a policyholder’s death, his beneficiaries could therefore access funds, which could be sufficient or more than enough to pay estate taxes. At the same time, SUN Smarter Life still provides living benefits to the policy owner to cover costs of possible terminal illnesses or emergency situations. Supplementary benefits could even be added as ‘riders.’ This means for a minimal amount added to the premium, additional protection is provided to cover accidents, possible disability, or illnesses.
Sun Life has tapped veteran actress and former ABS-CBN President Charo Santos-Concio to be the face of its new campaign for its SUN Smarter Life.
“SUN Smarter Life makes wealth preservation easy,” said Santos-Concio during the launch of the campaign on July 8 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. “It also gives me peace of mind knowing that when my time comes, my assets will efficiently be transferred to my family.”
“By preparing early, utilizing the right instruments, and with the help of Sun Life, I am confident that my family will feel my love through the legacy I will leave behind. With SUN Smarter Life, my loved ones will be well taken care of and will be able to enjoy the fruits of my hard work, no matter what happens,” she added.
To learn more about SUN Smarter Life, get in touch with a Sun Life advisor now.