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What is survivorship universal life insurance?

Survivorship universal life insurance provides money for others after you and your partner pass away.

Survivorship universal life insurance is often referred to as second-to-die insurance. It covers two people and pays a benefit only after both covered individuals have passed away. Since it costs less than two individual permanent policies, it's an affordable option to leave a larger nest egg for your heirs or favorite cause.

Is survivorship universal life insurance right for my family?

You've worked hard to take care of your family and build your estate. You plan to pass your money down to your loved ones or your favorite charity and make a difference in their lives. If you need an affordable option to help protect and grow your legacy after you and your partner pass away, survivorship universal life insurance might be an option for you. The benefits include charitable giving, providing for the ongoing needs for an individual with a disability, business transition planning and the possibility to help pay federal estate taxes and other estate-settlement costs owed after both spouses pass away.

How is survivorship universal life insurance used?

The survivorship universal life policy can help with:

  • Charitable giving. You can donate money to a charity you care about long after your death.
  • Supporting a disabled child. Couples who support an individual with a disability often set up a Special Needs Trust with a survivorship policy to ensure their child continues to receive care.
  • Business transition planning. It can provide the funds to compensate members of the family that are not interested in continuing the business.
  • Estate planning. With smart estate planning, death benefits will typically pass income tax-free to heirs, which can help in funding mandatory federal estate taxes.

What are the benefits of survivorship universal life insurance?

Survivorship universal life insurance policies typically offer a few advantages, including:

  • Affordability. Since one survivorship universal life policy covers two people, it generally costs less than two separate policies.
  • Builds cash value. When you pay your premium, a portion covers the cost of life insurance, policy expenses and the remainder is applied to a cash value account. The growth in cash value is federal tax-deferred and, over time can be accessed for a variety of personal needs, but withdrawals can have consequences.
    • Unpaid loans and withdrawals will reduce the guaranteed death benefit and policy cash value. Loans also accrue interest.
  • Customizable. You have the ability to customize your policy with available riders, which can allow the actual coverage to fit for your particular situation.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources not associated with State Farm® (including State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company and its subsidiaries and affiliates). While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. State Farm is not responsible for, and does not endorse or approve, either implicitly or explicitly, the content of any third party sites that might be hyperlinked from this page. The information is not intended to replace manuals, instructions or information provided by a manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional, or to affect coverage under any applicable insurance policy. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information.

Neither State Farm nor its agents provide tax or legal advice.


Accumulated cash value is available through policy loans or withdrawals which may affect the cash value and death benefit.



State Farm Life Insurance Company (Not licensed in MA, NY or WI)
State Farm Life and Accident Assurance Company (Licensed in NY and WI)
Bloomington, IL


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