Life Insurance

News & Analysis as of

"The Estate Planner" – January/February 2015

In this issue: - Life Insurance – A Powerful Estate Planning Tool for Nontaxable Estates - Four Ways to Transfer a Family Business - Changing Family Makeup Requires Estate Plan Review - Estate...more

Florida Insurance Law: 2014 Year in Review

This past year brought a number of important insurance decisions in Florida, some favorable to insurers and others that reaffirm the challenges for insurers litigating in Florida. For example, after a broad statutory...more

Year in Review: Legislation and Guidance for Financial Institutions in 2014

2014 was a year replete with new legislative and regulatory initiatives impacting federally regulated financial institutions. The key initiatives introduced or implemented in 2014 are outlined in our annual year in review....more

Expect Focus - Spot The Regulator, Volume IV, Fall 2014

In This Issue: - IN THE SPOTLIGHT ..Crisis Management: Five Steps to Take Before Providing That Comment - LIFE INSURANCE ..Third Circuit Limits ERISA Fiduciary Liability to those with Ultimate...more

Life Insurers Gain Ground in Legislative Fix

The U.S. House of Representatives recently voted to pass legislation (H.R. 5461) intended to clarify capital standards for insurance companies under the supervision of the Federal Reserve Board. The bill, sponsored by...more

New York Law Governs STOLI Dispute In Texas

A Texas appellate court’s choice of law determination proved pivotal where a life insurer contested its duty to pay proceeds on the grounds that the policy was fraudulently acquired as part of a stranger-oriented life...more

Life Insurer Settles Nationwide "Junk Fax" Class Actions

Recently, there has been a noticeable increase in lawsuits, particularly putative class actions, brought against life insurance companies pursuant to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA). As amended by the...more

A Life Settlement Investment Shell Game?

American International Group, Inc., through its subsidiary Lavastone Capital, LLC, filed a lawsuit against Coventry First, LLC in New York federal court. Coventry reciprocated by filing a lawsuit against Lavastone in New York...more

New Year, New Disclosures

On December 29, the Florida Department of Financial Services (FDFS) published Proposed Rule 69B-215.090 (the "Proposed Surrender Disclosure Rule") setting forth the disclosures required when a surrender of any cash value life...more

ERISA Fiduciaries Have a Duty to Inform

SUMMARY: In this case, the court found that the employer, serving as plan administrator of a group life insurance plan providing basic and supplemental coverage, may be liable for monetary damages for breach of its fiduciary...more

APRA releases Insight report on the life insurance and general insurance markets

APRA has released its second Insight report into the life insurance and general insurance markets for 2014. In terms of the general insurance markets, APRA makes a number of interesting observations....more

Court Rejects Fiduciary Duty Breach by Claims Administrator Acting on Behalf of Plan Sponsor

In the recently decided matter of Van Loo, et al. v. Cajun Operating Company, et al., No. 2:2014cv10604 (E.D. Mich. 2014), the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan rejected allegations of a fiduciary duty...more

Fixing Common Plan Mistakes – Failure to Obtain Spousal Consent

The Rule - When plans have a Qualified Joint and Survivor Annuity default form of benefit, or when a plan offers life annuity options, spousal consent must be obtained for any distribution or loan out of the plan,...more

Tenth Circuit Finds Plan Administrator Has No Duty to Inquire into Authenticity of Participant’s Beneficiary Designation

Plaintiff Kristopher Towles, the son of a deceased participant of a life insurance plan, challenged the plan’s decision to pay the life insurance proceeds to the deceased’s husband, contending that the beneficiary form...more

District Court Grants Motion To Stay Pending Arbitration Over Non-Signatory’s Opposition

In late August, a federal district court in Louisiana granted a group of defendants’ motion to stay pending arbitration. Plaintiff alleged breach of fiduciary duty, negligence, and fraud in connection with a trust account set...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

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter

Editor's Overview - As it is well known, in Cigna Corp. v. Amara, 131 S. Ct. 1866 (2011), the U.S. Supreme Court identified several forms of appropriate equitable relief that may be available under Section 502(a)(3) of...more

Caution with Automatic Removal of Ex-Spouse as a Beneficiary Upon Divorce

Fla.Stats. Section 732.703 provides for the automatic removal of a spouse as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy upon divorce. Many other states have similar provisions. It is easy to become complacent in expecting this...more

Who Should Be My Life Insurance Beneficiary? #EstatePlanningAttorney

The question, “who should be your designated beneficiary under your life insurance policy” is a very important family decision that should be made after careful consideration of all relevant family and financial goals in...more

Arbitration Denied In Mortgage Life Insurance Dispute Where Neither Note Nor Policy Referenced Arbitration Agreement

A court refused to compel arbitration in a dispute surrounding the cancellation of and failure to pay life insurance benefits under a debtor group life insurance policy. The relevant note and insurance policy did not contain...more

Jamon y Queso (Ham and Cheese) – Offshore Annuity Planning Options for Non-Resident Aliens

I have been active in private placement life insurance since 1999. Over that course of time, while the offshore private placement life insurance industry was getting its start in the late 1990s, Sun Life of Canada introduced...more

Life Insurer Prevails in First Circuit Appeal in ERISA Class Action Challenging Retained Asset Accounts

In a unanimous panel decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit reversed a trial court’s ruling that the defendant, Unum Life Insurance Company of America (Unum), had breached fiduciary duties under the...more

Absent an Initial Showing That It Is a Fiduciary, Employer Is Immune from Breach of Fiduciary Liability Claim under ERISA in the...

In Moon v. BWX Technologies, Inc., 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 12525 (4th Cir. July 2, 2014), the Fourth Circuit rejected fiduciary breach and equitable estoppel claims, determining that an employer’s failure to alert an employee...more

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

Complaint Filed for Alleged Insurance Fraud Scheme on Secondary Market

On October 3, 2014, a lawsuit captioned Visión en Análisis y Estrategia, S.A. de C.V., et al. v. Karl Andersen, et al., was filed in the Southern District of New York alleging an insurance fraud scheme perpetrated against the...more

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