General Business Insurance Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

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Third Circuit Reaffirms the Difficulty of Binding a Non-Signatory to Arbitration

Federal law’s much-talked-about presumption in favor of enforcing arbitration clauses has its limits. On August 11, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit identified one of those limitations: the...more

Unclaimed Property: Court Holds Life Insurer’s Escheatment Duties Not Triggered By Insured’s Death

In an opinion filed August 5, 2014, the Florida First District Court of Appeal held that under Florida’s unclaimed property law, life insurance proceeds are not “due and payable,” and the dormancy period does not begin to...more

Give unto Caesar (but not a Dollar More!)-The Benefits and Planning Dexterity of the Charitable Lead Annuity Trust

Overview - I have to admit that I was a pretty good high school Latin student. In fact it may have been my best subject. When I got to West Point, I was in for very rude awakening. Not only did I realize too late that...more

How to Fight a STOLI Scheme: Court Rulings Offer Clues

Two recent court decisions provide potential road maps for insurers in the fight against Stranger-Originated Life Insurance (STOLI) schemes. Ohio Nat’l Life Assurance Corp. v. Davis involved a STOLI scheme so obvious that...more

Idaho Unclaimed Property Rule: Insurers Must Confirm Whether Insureds Have Died

In a recently issued notice of rulemaking, the Idaho State Treasurer’s Office has proposed a temporary rule that, if permanently adopted, would alter two key definitional provisions in the state’s unclaimed property laws...more

Eighth Circuit Decisions Reminds Employers Of Importance Of Granting ERISA Plan Administrators Discretion To Interpret Plan Terms

Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit released an opinion which highlights the importance of ensuring ERISA plan documents grant plan administrators the discretion to construe and interpret the...more

Interaction fo Trustee Indemnities and Liability Insurance

When a trustee is sued for breach of trust and claims against his professional indemnity insurers, questions often arise as to the extent to which the trustee must first pursue any other rights of indemnity (for example...more

Tennessee Insurance Legal News - January 2014 • Volume 3, Number 1

In This Issue: - ARBITRATION PROVISION WITHIN TENNESSEE’S UNINSURED MOTORIST STATUTE HELD NOT APPLICABLE TO INSURANCE POLICIES ISSUED AND DELIVERED OUTSIDE TENNESSEE: The Tennessee Court of Appeals addressed the...more

Recent Court Decisions Concerning Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Can Assist Insurers in Defending Regulatory Audits and Future...

Perhaps the most significant litigation, regulatory and compliance issues facing life insurance companies can be found in the unclaimed property audits, multi-state regulatory settlements and class action lawsuits surrounding...more

The Power of Insurance Trusts to Maintain Family Business Assets and Sanity

Life insurance and irrevocable trusts are great tools to ease family business succession issues and mitigate exposure to shareholder oppression and disputes. Irrevocable life insurance trusts (ILIT), in particular, play an...more

Life Insurance Company that Filed Interpleader Action to Determine How to Proceed With Benefits Resulting From a Homicide is...

In Farmers New World Life Insurance Company v. Rees (--- Cal.Rptr.3d ----, Cal.App. 2 Dist., August 30, 2013), a California court of appeal considered whether a life insurance company that delayed paying benefits to the...more

Courts Do Not Always Agree

I blogged recently about a decision from a federal district court in Virginia (Eastern District) involving a widow who sought to recover life insurance benefits from her late husband’s employer-sponsored group term life...more

Federal Law That Provides Death Benefits Be Paid To Named Beneficiary Pre-empts State Law

In Hillman v. Maretta (--- S.Ct. ----, U.S.Va., June 3, 2013), the United States Supreme Court considered whether a state law that provides death benefits from an insurance policy be paid to a current spouse, even if a prior...more

Tales from the Crypt -- Post-Mortem Planning Using Private Placement Insurance Products

Overview - This article discusses the use of private placement products - private placement deferred variable annuities (PPVA) and private placement life insurance (PPLI)- in post mortem income tax and transfer tax...more

Insight on Estate Planning - April/May 2013: Estate Planning Pitfall: You’ve named a minor as beneficiary of your life insurance...

A common estate planning mistake is to designate a minor as beneficiary — or contingent beneficiary — of a life insurance policy or retirement plan. This brief article discusses why it’s better to designate one or more trusts...more

The Family Loan Shark - Leveraging the AFR in the Taxpayer’s Favor Intra-Family Loans and Private Placement Insurance Products –...

Overview - High net worth and income taxpayers find themselves in a world of hurt following tax reform at the end of 2012. The top marginal bracket for taxpayers with more than $400,000 (single and $450,000 married)...more

Is Honesty Always the Best Policy? Illinois Appellate Court Holds Attorney’s Ethical Obligations Trump Professional Liability...

In a case of first impression, the Illinois Appellate Court considered whether a professional liability insurer can deny a defense to its insured, an attorney who admits he erred in providing legal services. Ill. State Bar...more

Policy Loans Can Bite You

Life insurance policies can be great vehicles for income tax deferral. Part of this arises from the fact that earnings growth that occurs inside the policy is not subject to current income tax (and may never be taxed if the...more

Cashing in on a Life Insurance Policy

Certain life insurance, such as whole life, carries a cash value with the policy. The premiums you pay each month go towards a certain amount of coverage for your beneficiaries when you die. In addition, a certain portion of...more

Michigan Appellate Court Affirms Validity of Electronic Signature Under UETA

Recently, the Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed summary judgment in favor of a defendant insurance company seeking to dispose of a challenge to an electronic signature executed by a policyholder. Zulkiewski v. Am. Gen. Life...more

Michigan Court Assesses Electronic Signature Authentication under UETA in Online Insurance Transaction

The acceptance of electronic signatures in commercial transactions has become so commonplace that disputes about their use are relatively few. A Michigan appeals court recently considered the validity of an electronic...more

Using Private Placement Insurance Products to Achieve Tax Efficiency for High Net Worth Investors

Originally published in Journal Of Taxation Of Investments - Summer 2012. Although no one can predict what Congress will do at any point, it is quite likely we will see higher income tax rates in the near future, along...more

Delaware Federal Court Issues Important Post-Price Dawe Opinion

In a memorandum opinion issued in Principal Life Insurance Company v. Lawrence Rucker 2007 Insurance Trust on June 26, 2012, a federal district court applied the Delaware Supreme Court’s holding in PHL Variable Life Insurance...more

An Introduction on China’s Senior Pension Mechanism

While China’s aging population rapidly grows in recent years, combining with raising expanse for living, more and more people are concerning about their retirement fund—how they can support themselves on medical expenses and...more

California District Court Grants Summary Judgment to Life Insurer in Rescission Case

Judge Virginia Phillips of the United States District Court, Central District of California, granted summary judgment to USAA Life Insurance Company, finding that Dr. Marshall Salkin made material misrepresentations regarding...more

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