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Decedent Failed To Change IRA Beneficiaries Through Will

December 12, 2011

Authors

Luke Lantta

Decedent Failed To Change IRA Beneficiaries Through Will

December 12, 2011

by: Luke Lantta

I’m guessing that most people don’t take the time to read the fine print on life insurance or IRA change of beneficiary forms.  And why should they, since it seems pretty self-explanatory: I once put my wife’s name in this box, now I want to put my kids’ names in that box.  The reason why you want to pay attention to that fine print is because – to be effective – that fine print usually has to be strictly complied with.

In Smith v. Marez, the North Carolina Court of Appeals, applying New York law, ruled that a decedent’s failure to strictly comply with the change of beneficiary form requirements for his IRAs meant that the IRA assets went to his wife and not his kids.

So what did Leonard George Smith do wrong?

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Illinois Federal Court Enforces Arbitration Provision In Account Agreement

September 21, 2011

Authors

Luke Lantta

Illinois Federal Court Enforces Arbitration Provision In Account Agreement

September 21, 2011

by: Luke Lantta

If you actually want to forego the courtroom and cast your lot with an arbitrator, incorporating an arbitration provision into your standard client contracts can be an effective tool because these provisions tend to be strictly enforced by courts.  It’s an example of where boilerplate may have some benefits.  Recently, in Hemenway v. Millennium Trust Company, LLC, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois essentially terminated – at least least temporarily – a lawsuit against Millennium Trust Company by enforcing an arbitration agreement contained in a standard client contract.

Edward L. Hemenway”s Roth Individual Retirement Account Agreement and his Traditional Individual Retirement Account Custodial Agreement had an identical and standard arbitration provision which broadly encompassed “disputes between the parties.”

Nevertheless, Hemenway filed a lawsuit in federal court alleging that the money he contributed to his Roth and IRA accounts was lost, that Millennium Trust Company

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