Canada Life launches discounted gift trust

Canada Life has added an onshore discounted gift trust (DGT) with a streamlined underwriting process to its existing Select Account estate planning proposition.

The discounted gift trust is designed for clients with an inheritance tax liability, who are happy to gift capital but who wish to retain a fixed lifetime income.

It is being added to the Select Account range at no additional cost and offers a streamlined quotation and underwriting process allowing advisers to discuss individual cases and scenarios with their underwriting team to see if a discount would apply.

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Canada Life has reduced the number of health and medical questions necessary to generate a quote and if additional medical information is required then it will operate a targeted approach to requesting GP reports.

Richard Priestley, executive director of individual onshore at Canada Life, said the changes were in response to advisers who dislike the lengthy underwriting process involved in discounted gift trusts.

Mr Priestley said: "We aim to be easy to do business with and are pleased to be able to respond to adviser feedback by offering a streamlined underwriting process and access to underwriters at the quote stage, if required.

"We have adopted a pragmatic approach to underwriting and will only ask for additional medical information if it is really necessary."

Owen Wintersgill, director at Axxis Financial Planning, welcomed the move but said it would be only one of many reasons for choosing a discounted gift trust. 

Mr Wintersgill said: "If they are now able at the quote stage to take into account impaired lives, while that might be convenient, it is not a reason to favour one life company over another.

"What would be more useful would be a standardisation of the methodologies of how they arrive at the size of the discount, as they vary a lot."