Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning Insurance

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Should I Name My Minor Child as a Beneficiary or Contingent Beneficiary of My Life Insurance Policy?

As an estate planning attorney in Mesa, Arizona I am frequently asked the question by parents: Should I name a minor child as a beneficiary or contingent beneficiary of a life insurance policy? This question has very...more

Cat Bond Litigation: Unambiguous Bond Documents Cause Court To Dismiss With Prejudice Complaint Seeking to Claw Back Payments Made...

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York has dismissed, with prejudice, claims relating to the triggering of the Mariah Re severe weather event cat bond. Mariah Re Ltd. v. American Family Mutual...more

Reinsurer Not Allowed To Intervene In Action Involving Cedent’s Risk

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York denied a reinsurer’s motion to intervene in an interpleader action in which Battenkill Insurance Company argued it had an 85% interest in the funds at...more

Pennsylvania Court Affirms Liquidator’s Decision That A Claim Arising From A Reinsurance Policy Is Entitled To A Lower Payment...

A Pennsylvania appellate court has affirmed the liquidator’s determination that a group excess insurance policy issued by Reliance is a reinsurance policy and thereby entitled to a low level of priority of payment from the...more

Developments in Life Insurance in Florida

Life insurers will find the following Florida decisions regarding the state’s unclaimed property law and false claims act important: - Total Asset Recovery Services, LLC v. Metlife, Inc. and Prudential Financial Inc.,...more

The Waters of March -The Benefits of Owning Life Insurance within a Cascading Charitable Lead Annuity Trusts (CLATs)

...I recall hearing Bossa Nova as a ten year old at my neighbor’s house in the Panama Canal Zone – Sergio Mendes and Brazil 66. The Waters of March is one of many great songs written by Antonio Carlos Jobim and sung by Elis...more

ERISA Fiduciary Obligations: More on Application to Life Insurance Coverage

This article examines the case of Biller v. Prudential Insurance, in which the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia denied a motion to dismiss a claim brought against an employer by the beneficiaries of a...more

Advisors Advantage - September 2014

Starsky had Hutch, Cagney had Lacey, Fred had Ginger, Bogie had Bacall, Bonnie had Clyde, Bert had Ernie, Baskin had Robbins, and Sheriff Bart had the Waco Kid. Whether it's law enforcement, entertainment, or any type of...more

Bermuda: Taking Charge of the Future - A review of recent legislative changes relating to Trusts and Life Insurance Contracts

Bermuda is a financial centre that is determined to grow, diversify, and improve upon the range and quality of the financial and professional services that it offers to its international clients. This goal is supported...more

"The Estate Planner" – September/October 2014

In this issue: - The True Cost Of Giving – Charitable Donations In A No-Estate-Tax Environment - Could An Exchange Help Cover LTC Insurance Costs? - Family Meetings Help Ensure Estate Planning...more

IRS Amends Revenue Ruling 81-100 to Permit Participation in Group Trusts by Puerto Rico Plans and Insurance Company Separate...

The Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) issued Revenue Ruling 2014-24 (the “Ruling”). The Ruling amends Revenue Ruling 81-100, the ruling that established the requirements applicable to a tax-qualified group trust. The...more

IRS Finalizes Guidance on Rev. Rul. 81-100 Group Trusts, and Insurance Company Separate Accounts

In Rev. Rul. 2014-24, scheduled for publication on September 8, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (the Service) substantially completed its pending guidance on Rev. Rul. 81-100 group trusts by permanently authorizing the...more

Florida DFS Unclaimed Property Grab “Clearly Erroneous”

Florida’s First District Court of Appeal filed an opinion yesterday in Thrivent Financial for Lutheran’s appeal from a declaratory statement issued by the Florida Department of Financial Services interpreting Florida’s...more

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

Florida Court Rejects "Date of Death" Trigger for Escheating Life Insurance Death Benefits Under Florida's Unclaimed Property Act

On August 5, Florida's First District Court of Appeal reversed a ruling issued by Florida's Department of Financial Services ("DFS") that would have triggered an insurer's duty to escheat life insurance benefits under...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

Florida Court of Appeal Holds Insured’s Death Alone Does Not Trigger Unclaimed Property Law Obligations

In an opinion filed August 5, Florida’s First District Court of Appeal held that Florida’s unclaimed property law does not make life insurance proceeds due and payable at the time of the insured’s death and does not impose an...more

Fourth Circuit Rejects Widow’s Claim for Equitable Relief

The Fourth Circuit recently rejected fiduciary breach and equitable estoppel claims for life insurance coverage by Leslie Moon, the widow of a deceased employee, who claimed that the employer’s actions resulted in Mr. Moon’s...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

"The Estate Planner" – July/August 2014

In this issue: - Net Gain For Taxpayers – Tax Court Approves Net Gift Strategy - Estate Planning For The Young And Affluent – How To Hedge Your Bets - Wealth Preserver – Use An ILIT To Shield Life...more

Life Insurance Unclaimed Property Litigation in 2014: Will Regulator Positions Withstand Judicial Scrutiny

Amidst ongoing multistate unclaimed property audits of many life insurers, and despite many regulatory settlements, the insurance industry and state regulators continue to disagree over the application of unclaimed property...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

ERISA 8th Circuit: Deciding Who Is The Beneficiary — The Abuse Of Discretion Standard Trumps The Substantial Compliance Doctrine

Sometimes determining the correct beneficiary for ERISA-governed life insurance benefits can present real challenges. Can the deceased’s will prove the deceased’s intent designating the correct beneficiary? It...more

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