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 governing” an ERISA plan, as described in Section 404(a)(1)(d) of ERISA. A participant called the plan office and telephonically re-designated his … Continue Reading
The Ninth Circuit held that a participant’s brother, rather than his spouse, was the proper beneficiary of benefits under a profit sharing plan. In so holding, the Court found that: (a) the participant’s first wife, who was designated as the primary beneficiary, had waived her rights to benefits as part of the couple’s divorce; and … Continue Reading
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 replacing him with the deceased husband had been forged. After five attempts to state a claim, the district court dismissed the complaint … Continue Reading
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