Grigsby v. Russell: A life settlement case worth recalling

MAR 16, 2016 | BY DAVID R. SERRA


We often cite Grigsby v. Russell as a landmark U.S. Supreme Court case validating life settlements. The court’s decision is invoked whenever anyone questions the seemingly peculiar idea of selling a life insurance policy.

The SCOTUS ruling is fundamental to helping people realize the benefit of an investment they thought would only accrue after death. Yet not many people have read the court’s brief opinion.

That was over a century ago. Since then, life settlements have enabled people no longer needing life insurance to realize value far above the cash surrender amount on their policies, which ironically felt more like an unnecessary debt burden than an asset. Consider these real-world examples:

  • Senior citizens desiring to maintain independence cashing-out of unneeded life insurance policies at 5 to 8 times the cash surrender value, unburdening family members. Click Here to go to actual article.