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Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. February Vacation Results in Relatively Quiet Week in Augusta, Except the Tax Package...more

White House Budget Proposal Includes Many Retirement-Related Provisions

On February 2, 2015, the White House released its Fiscal Year 2016 Budget, which includes a number of tax code changes targeting retirement savings. If enacted as presented, the proposals would have a significant effect on...more

Court Permits Beneficiary Designations By Telephone

In a somewhat surprising case, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that a participant may change his prior written beneficiary designation by a telephone call to the plan sponsor. The Becker v....more

2015 Tax Update Letter

Dear Clients and Colleagues: This letter is an update on the most recent estate and gift tax developments and serves as a follow-up to our past yearly tax updates, which can be accessed by clicking the “Family Wealth...more

Housing Options for Adults with Special Needs

Fifty years ago, most people with even moderate special needs were institutionalized throughout their adult lives. Now, thanks in part to societal changes and decades of litigation, most people with special needs, including...more

Report From Counsel: Insights And Developments In The Law - Winter 2014/2015

In this Newsletter: - Federal Advertising Guidelines for Businesses - Case by Case - Arbitration Clauses in Employment Contracts - Life Insurance Can Be Part of Your Estate Plan - Employment...more

And They’re Off!! The Maryland Legislative Session Has Begun

Maryland has begun its legislative session and PK Law is monitoring bills of interest. Bear in mind that the session is early on and many changes may take place during the 90 days the General Assembly is seated. Here are...more

Ex-Husband Fails in Attempt to Use Texas Law to Impose Constructive Trust on Former Spouse’s Survivor Annuity

A former husband’s attempt to use Texas law to deprive his first wife of a survivor annuity under his pension plan has been firmly rejected by the U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Vanderkam v. Vanderkam,...more

Divorce and Beneficiary Designations—Florida Law Changes

Introduction - This article discusses a significant change in Florida law regarding the effect of dissolution or annulment of marriage on designations of one former spouse as beneficiary upon death of the insured other...more

Maine Governor Proposes Major State Tax Restructuring

Maine Governor Paul LePage has proposed a major restructuring of Maine’s tax system as part of his FY 2016-2017 budget submission. Generally, the governor’s proposal decreases the state’s reliance on income tax revenue and...more

Family Office Key Employees’ Use of Employee Investment Trusts

Recent Development - Family office key employees have new flexibility under recent SEC guidance regarding the nature and range of persons who can properly be involved in the administration of their trusts. ...more

Beware of Unintended Beneficiary Designations

Beneficiary designations are commonly used to name the individuals or entities who are to receive the proceeds of life insurance policies or retirement plans after the death of the owner. An increasing number of financial...more

DOL Issues Guidance on Missing Participants in Terminated Plans - The Guidance Focuses on How to Search for Missing Participants...

The Department of Labor (DOL) Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) 2014-01 provides guidance on (1) how fiduciaries should go about searching for missing participants or beneficiaries in terminated defined contribution plans; and...more

Report From Counsel: Insights and Developments in the Law - Fall 2014

In this Report: - Homeowners’ Insurance: The Devil Resides in the Details - “Cybersmear” Lawsuits - Age Discrimination in Employment - The Marital Deduction: A Valuable Estate Planning...more

Asset Protection for Inherited IRAs

Owners of large retirement accounts may be lulled into complacency concerning the asset protection available to these special assets. The funds which you (and perhaps also your employer through a matching program) have...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

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter

Editor's Overview - This month's newsletter focuses on repayment of pension plan overpayments. Our issue discusses pension plan overpayments to participants, a plan administrator's duties to seek repayment, corrections...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

Lost Participant? Did you Try Google?

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) of the U.S. Department of Labor recently updated its guidance to retirement plan fiduciaries on due diligence and efforts to locate missing participants in the case of...more

Are Your Beneficiary Designations Heir Tight?

An often-neglected area in the world of benefit plan administration is the beneficiary designation form. Many participants complete their beneficiary designations incorrectly because they don’t read the instructions carefully...more

Shorts on Long Term Care - Summer 2014

In this issue: - Nursing Facility Survey Trends: Directed Plans of Correction, Privacy Violations and FTag 520 Quality Assurance Committee Citations - COBRA Meets ACA – Time to Update COBRA Notices -...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

Escheaters Never Prosper, Lord Grantham: Handling Unclaimed Employee Funds

While renewing my license plates online with Indiana’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles (yes, bureau, not department), I saw an advertisement for the Indiana Attorney General’s Unclaimed Property Division, IndianaUnclaimed.gov. On a...more

Bankruptcy Protection for Inherited IRA

The already complicated subject of how to handle Individual Retirement Accounts following the death of an IRA holder just got a little more complicated with the recent Supreme Court decision in Clark v. Rameker. The issue in...more

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