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?Read More