Life Insurance

News & Analysis as of

ERISA: 7 Things to Know About Limited Discovery in ERISA Long Term Disability Cases

You already know that discovery in ERISA cases is generally limited because of the “significant ERISA policy interests of minimizing costs of claim disputes and ensuring prompt claims-resolution procedures.”...more

Good Advice for Everyone: Ten Steps to Avoid Big Trouble

On both a business and individual level, there are ten easy steps you can take now to avoid big trouble later. If you address just five of these items this month, you will be half way there. Originally published in the...more

Stretch out estate tax on business interests

Frequently, heirs of successful entrepreneurs are forced to sell off business interests at “fire sale” prices to help pay federal estate taxes. To alleviate the tax strain, Internal Revenue Code Section 6166 allows heirs to...more

Fourth Circuit Concludes That State Law Claims For Life Insurance Benefits Are Preempted

The Fourth Circuit recently concluded that a Sears employee’s state law claims seeking money damages based on denial of insurance benefits (for failure to submit evidence of insurability questionnaire) was preempted by...more

NY DFS Issues Circular Letter Addressing Life Insurance Unfair Claims Settlement Practices During the Contestability Period

On January 26 – in its first-issued circular letter of the year – the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) reminded life insurers doing business in the state that they can only contest claims following the death of...more

Split Dollar Shing-a-Ling! Employing the Concepts of Inter-Generational Split Dollar in Compensatory Split Dollar Arrangements

Overview - In the last ten years, life insurance producers and their counsel have quietly transferred great fortunes with minimal gift and estate taxation using intergenerational split dollar life insurance programs....more

NYDFS Issues Circular Letter Pertaining to Deferred-to-Immediate Annuity Contract Replacements

On December 8, 2016, the New York State Department of Financial Services (the “Department”) issued a Circular Letter to provide guidance in response to the alleged failure of certain life insurance producers and life insurers...more

NAIC Draws Line In CFPB Sand Box

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has taken a firm stance on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposed ban of “mandatory arbitration” clauses that make financial product consumers waive their right...more

Back to the Future: 2017 [Expect Focus Life Insurance – December 2016]

- Should Your Company Purchase Bitcoin to Pay a Cyber Ransom? - NAIC Draws Line in CFPB Sandbox - NAIC’s Big Data Task Force Sets Charges for 2017 - Broker-Dealers Can Hold Customers’ Initial Checks...more

Pennsylvania District Court Rejects Effort to Certify Retained Asset Account Claims Against Prudential

In Huffman v. Prudential, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania recently rejected the plaintiffs’ effort to certify for class adjudication a claim for alleged breach of ERISA (alternatively, state law)...more

Broker-Dealers Can Hold Customers’ Initial Checks

A recent SEC no-action letter gives broker-dealers more time to perform suitability and other reviews when opening certain customer accounts. The firms requesting the letter were affiliated with three different insurance...more

Broker-Dealers Can Hold Customers’ Initial Checks

A recent SEC no-action letter gives broker-dealers more time to perform suitability and other reviews when opening certain customer accounts. The firms requesting the letter were affiliated with three different insurance...more

Seventh Circuit Affirms Insurer’s Duty to Pay Policy Proceeds Under Wisconsin Statute

In U.S. Bank Nat. Ass’n v. Sun Life Assur. Co. of Canada, the Seventh Circuit, applying Wisconsin law, recently affirmed that an insurer may not void a life insurance policy solely on grounds that the policy’s original owner...more

Insurable Interest Found in Life Insurance Policies Procured by Investors Through Fraudulent STOLI Scheme

The Florida Supreme Court recently held that life insurance policies procured by investors through a STOLI scheme did not violate Florida’s insurable interest statute and could not be challenged after the two-year...more

Complaint Against New York Life Dismissed in Action Testing Application of California’s Usury Laws

In a recent ruling, Lujan v. New York Life Insurance Company, a federal judge in the Northern District of California rejected the plaintiffs’ claim that New York Life violated California’s usury law by charging compound...more

NAIC Draws Line in CFPB Sandbox

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has taken a firm stance on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s proposed ban on "mandatory arbitration" clauses that make financial product consumers waive their right...more

Estate Tax Impact of Life Insurance Required by Divorce

Please see chart below for more information....more

Special Needs Trusts Through the Lens of a Financial Planner

I met recently with my friend and advisor, Lauren Pearson, CFP®, to learn more about Special Needs Trusts. Lauren is a managing director and partner at HighTower Twickenham, an industry leading wealth management firm. Lauren...more

NAIC Adopts Revisions to Actuarial Guideline 49

On December 13, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Executive (EX) Committee and Plenary adopted revisions to Actuarial Guideline 49 (AG 49) with an effective date of March 1, 2017. The revisions apply...more

6 estate planning techniques for blended families

A “blended family” is more than just a staple of TV sitcoms. Today, it’s not unusual for a household to include children and even grandchildren from prior marriages, as well as adopted family members or same-sex couples....more

How Concerned Should Insurers be About Punitive Damages in California?

The California Court of Appeal recently published another opinion about the Nickerson v. Stonebridge Life Insurance case. The court held to its maximum 10:1 punitive-to-compensatory-damages ratio and analyzed whether this...more

A Comparison of Trump and House GOP Tax Reform Proposals

With Republicans in control of the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives and the White House starting in 2017, the federal government is now better positioned to move forward on comprehensive tax reform, with...more

President-elect Trump's potential priorities for insurance regulation

Apart from a fundamental disagreement between the parties as to whether the Affordable Care Act ("ACA") should be repealed and replaced, insurance regulatory issues did not play a large role in the Presidential campaign. That...more

2016 Year-End Estate Planning Advisory

In 2016, we continued to experience a period of relative stability in our federal transfer tax system and have been able to plan without expecting imminent significant changes to the system. Under the American Taxpayer Relief...more

NY DFS Proposes New Regulation for Life and Annuity Non-Guaranteed Elements

On November 17, the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) issued a press release announcing its proposal of new Insurance Regulation 210 - Life Insurance and Annuity Non-Guaranteed Elements. Non-guaranteed elements...more

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