Beneficiary Designations

News & Analysis as of

Why Every Parent in Alberta Should Have a Will

As a young, healthy parent, you may believe that having a Will is the last thing on a long priority list. However, while a Will is vital for everyone, those with children should be particularly mindful of the primary...more

The Unintended Consequences of Not Having an Estate Plan

Nobody likes to think about death, but failing to plan for it can cause unintended consequences for loved ones. Prompted by the death of Prince, a client recently came to see me. He had read in the news that heirs to...more

Recent Changes in Estate Planning Laws May be Cause for Review of Your Estate Plan

Recent change in tax laws have many people rethinking their estate plans. Also, changes in the normal course of life make it a good idea for persons with estates that range from small to large to review wills, trusts, powers...more

Have you addressed elderly parents in your estate plan?

Typically, an estate plan includes accommodations for one’s spouse, children, grandchildren and even future generations. But some members of the family can be overlooked, such as parents or in-laws. This article offers a...more

Family Drama in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

George Lucas recently stated that Star Wars is “actually a soap opera, and it’s all about family problems.” Distributing the assets of a deceased loved one is a problem that almost all families will eventually face. So, in...more

The Waltons vs. the Kardashians: Who Will Keep Their Money?

While attempting to keep up with the Kardashians, I have recently stumbled upon the latest flaw in their sought-after spending habits. It all began with some gold marble slabs that Kanye wanted for his new bathroom, and...more

Form 8971 Filing Unhappiness

The IRS has now issued a final Form 8971 and instructions. If you recall, this Form is newly required by executors of estates filing a Form 706 (federal estate tax return). The Form requires a schedule for each beneficiary...more

Alert: The Importance of Beneficiary Designations

Who really benefits? You may be surprised! If you participate in a 401(k) or other retirement plan, have one or more IRA accounts, or life insurance policies, you need to designate beneficiaries to receive the benefits...more

How Property Was Titled Did Not Control Disposition Of Asset

A deed transfers a lake cottage to a revocable living trust. Title to the cottage is still in the name of that trust when the grantors die. The cottage gets distributed according to the terms of that trust, right? ...more

What Does the Trust Requirement of ERISA Mean?

ERISA requires that plan assets be held in trust so that they are protected from claims of the employer. With pension plans, it is generally easy to determine when assets become plan assets and when they should be held in...more

How Can I Avoid Probate | Arizona Probate Attorney

One of the main questions clients will ask is, “How I can avoid probate when I pass away?” This common question stems from a long history of “probate” being associated as an evil word or a long and expensive legal process,...more

Transferring Title to a Motor Vehicle in Maryland at Death? Be Careful!

Many people try to avoid probate. Often, title to assets is held in joint names with right of survivorship so that the surviving joint tenant inherits property without the need for probate. But then there is that pesky...more

Employee Benefits Developments - July 2015

Second Circuit Holds That Posthumous QDROs Are Valid. Yale-New Haven Hospital brought an action in federal court to resolve competing claims by a former spouse of a deceased participant and the deceased participant’s...more

Proposed 2016 Physician Fee Schedule Would Impact Medicare Shared Savings Program

The proposed Physician Fee Schedule for 2016 [PDF] contains several provisions that are likely to have an impact on the Medicare Shared Savings Program (MSSP). These provisions focus in large part on quality measures and the...more

CMS Releases Final Rule for the Medicare Shared Savings Program

On June 4, 2015, the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services ("CMS") released the highly anticipated Final Rule ("Final Rule") updating the Medicare Shared Savings Program ("Shared Savings Program"). One of the few provisions...more

Starting a New Job? Consider These Tips When Signing Up for Employee Benefits

When you start a new job you may be offered a wide range of employee benefits, from retirement accounts to life insurance. If you are the parent of a child with special needs, the decisions you make when signing up for these...more

Court Warns That Marriage Does Not Render A Spouse Automatically Entitled To Preexisting Life Insurance Policies

In a recent unpublished decision, the New Jersey Appellate Division has again stressed the importance of complying with the beneficiary designation requirements contained in life insurance policies. See Fox v. Lincoln...more

Estate Planning Pitfall: You haven’t named backup beneficiaries

To ensure that a person’s wealth is distributed according to his or her wishes, it’s important to designate both primary and secondary (or “contingent”) beneficiaries for a will, trusts, retirement plans and life insurance...more

Non-Qualified Plan Sponsors: Beneficiary Designations May Require Attention

A recent court decision highlights the importance of up-to-date beneficiary designations for participants in non-qualified retirement plans. Without up-to-date designations, the payment of the benefits of a deceased...more

Insight on Estate Planning - April/May 2015

In This Issue: - Estate planning for personal property: Why you should sweat the small stuff - How flexible is your estate plan? - Avoid state income taxes with an incomplete nongrantor trust - Estate...more

Reach Out And Designate Someone?

The seemingly staid world of retirement plan beneficiary designations was surprised by a recent federal appeals court decision suggesting that a new beneficiary could be designated by a telephone call. ...more

Ninth Circuit Rules Beneficiary Designation Forms Are Not Documents and Instruments Governing the Plan

In Becker v. Mays-Williams, 13-35069-cv, 2015 WL 348872 (9th Cir. Jan 28, 2015), the Ninth Circuit – in a matter of first impression – concluded that beneficiary designation forms were not “documents and instruments...more

Why it is Crucial to Designate a HSA Beneficiary?

As high deductible health insurance plans are becoming more popular, an important component is health savings accounts (HSA). In addition to having current tax advantages, there is specific tax treatment of HSA accounts upon...more

Employee Benefits Developments - February 2015

ERISA § 4062(e) Liability Enforcement Returns--Applicable to Defined Benefit Plans and Succession of Operations at Facility. The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) § 4062(e) originally imposed liability...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

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