More on Life Insurance
More on Life Insurance
Nothing matters more to the Bluths than family and money. A life insurance policy protects both of those interests.
Because the story of the Bluths is so intertwined with their finances, each family member would benefit from setting up a long-term financial plan, including a life insurance policy, to avoid total destitution.
We’ve broken down the type of life insurance each character should get. On the next Arrested Development...the Bluths get life insurance.
There’s always money in the banana stand, but the $250,000 in cash George Sr. lined it with won’t be enough to financially support his family. Instead, he needs key person insurance for his family’s main source of income, The Bluth Company.
While it wouldn’t pay out every time George Sr. faked his death (which we don’t recommend), key person insurance would save his family from the financial uncertainty of their future when he actually dies. With key person insurance, The Bluth Company would pay the policy premiums and the business would also be the recipient of the life insurance death benefit. Key person insurance would protect the financial security of the Bluth family business rather than members of the Bluth family... but let’s be honest, they all use the company card anyway.
George Sr. might have trouble getting a traditional policy, however. Light treason is a severe offense, and purchasing life insurance while you’re in prison is nearly impossible.
Even though maternal duties don’t come naturally to Lucille, she continues to raise Buster well into adulthood. Buster is entirely incapable of providing for himself, which is why Lucille needs a whole life insurance policy. With Buster as a permanent dependent, life insurance coverage that comes with an expiration date just won’t cut it.
A whole life insurance policy, on the other hand, would last the entirety of Lucille’s life and would secure a life insurance payout for Buster upon her death. Additionally, it could be utilized to pay for estate taxes that could otherwise decrease her childrens' inheritance.
"Lucille would have wanted whole life policies to manage estate tax liabilities and to fund a special needs trust for Buster. Whole life rather than term would be used to cover those obligations, because those needs do not go away," says Elia Weg, Sales Associate at Policygenius.
Lucille may also make use of the cash value of the policy, which is an investment-like component that she could borrow or withdraw from if she ever has a financial need. The cost of coverage may mean purchasing fewer furs, however. Whole life insurance costs approximately five to 15 times more than a traditional term life insurance policy.
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Michael is the sole caretaker of his minor child, George Michael, making it all the more crucial that he has a term life insurance policy in case he dies prematurely. But Michael is also the caretaker for his entire family, making the exact coverage amount he’ll need a bit more complicated. Without him, the Bluths, and The Bluth Company, would probably be in financial disarray.
Michael won’t just need to get coverage for typical expenses, such as George Michael’s college tuition or everyday bills, but enough to make sure the rest of the Bluths are covered too. This is a rare case where the recommended coverage amount of 10-15 times your income may not be enough life insurance coverage for him.
Based on his family’s irreverence toward money — such as Gob’s tendency to sink yachts for magic — the life insurance death benefit would be best distributed in an annuity, or installments, as opposed to one lump sum. By getting the life insurance payout in an annuity, Michael can be assured that the family won’t fritter away the entire death benefit all at once.
If Lindsay or Tobias died unexpectedly, they’d hopefully have a term life insurance policy to protect the financial security of their daughter Maeby. But because Maeby is still a minor and wouldn’t get to use the funds until she turns 18, they should designate Michael as their policy’s beneficiary or place the funds in a trust.
However, Lindsay’s job, emotionally supporting her husband’s nonexistent acting career, doesn’t technically qualify as real employment in the eyes of the IRS — or a life insurance company. Because Lindsay and Tobias are both long-term unemployed with no plans to find real work, they might have trouble getting the coverage they need.
Unlike Gob’s two siblings, Gob doesn’t provide any financial support for his child, so he doesn’t need as much coverage as they do. Instead, a small policy that covers the cost of his funeral would likely suffice. Gob would also benefit from an accidental death and dismemberment insurance plan or rider to account for any mishaps that might occur during his career as a magician.
Often ending up in the hospital and occasionally chopping off a limb, Gob’s magic tricks put him in a position to cause himself (and others) bodily harm. An AD&D insurance plan would not only pay out if he died in an accident but would also cover the loss of a limb or digit while he is still alive. One caveat: he can’t throw the insurance check in the ocean if he wants the policy to actually pay out.
Based on the lifestyle of the Bluth family, estate planning is a compulsory part of ensuring their long-term financial health. With multiple assets and a business in play, they’ll also want to consider writing up a will to supplement their life insurance policies and — while they’re at it — getting a new lawyer.
Nupur Gambhir is a life insurance editor at Policygenius in New York City. She has researched and written extensively about life insurance since 2019, with specialties in life insurance companies, policy types, and end-of-life planning. Her writing on insurance and finance has appeared on MSN, The Financial Gym, and end-of-life planning service Cake. Previously, she worked in marketing and business development for travel and tech.