The old phrase: "The right money, to the right people, at the right time" is a good, brief, summary of how an effective insurance programme should work.
Whenever we look hard at the question of getting the money into the hands of the right people, at the right time, we are usually looking at ways to ensure that we avoid tying the money up in another process: such as sorting out who is entitled to the assets of the estate. We have a great opportunity with insurance to completely bypass this process if only a little effort is taken.
But that effort is so rare. Anecdotally it seems that fewer advisers, not more, are today helping clients identify estate planning requirements ahead of time and address them. Usually three components will need to be in place in typical family situations: a will, a trust, and enduring powers of attorney.
Although an insurance adviser is typically non-expert in these areas - as am I - effective referral relationships can usually be established to get them done. The grateful lawyer may be coaxed into returning the favour if you can sustain the relationship long enough to build trust. If you do not have a tame lawyer to refer to, then simply work with the next client you are advising to strike up a relationship with the last lawyer they dealt with - for the conveyancing of their property, if they own a home, for example.
Even if you view the work around referring wills and enduring powers of attorney to be thankless, placing insurance in a trust alone can yield many benefits.
By way of example, here is a good article from UK Money Marketing on why it is considered essential that anyone with debt has their life insurance in a trust. I shall just emphasise that point 'anyone with debt' because that would be the majority of people who on life cover. Link.
Finally cany insurance advisers should note that insurance placed in a trust is usually 'stickier' than insurance merely set up - and forgotten.