Articles Posted in ERISA

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Appellee, as executrix of the estate of her father, and her sister, brought a breach of contract action in which they asserted that their father's second wife, appellant, contractually waived her right to retain the proceeds of their deceased father's employer-provided 401K plan and life insurance policy by entering a settlement agreement incorporated into an order of separate maintenance executed approximately a year prior to the father's death. At issue was whether the court of appeals erred in finding that decedent's children could maintain a state law action against the decedent's surviving spouse to recover proceeds distributed to the spouse as the beneficiary of the decedent's ERISA-governed benefits plans, 29 U.S.C. 1001 et seq., where the state law claims were based on a contention that the spouse waived her rights to such proceeds. The court answered in the negative, concluding that, in this case, since the proceeds of the ERISA-covered plans were paid out to appellant and were no longer in the control of the plan administrator, the trial court erred when it dismissed appellees' breach of contract claim against appellant. View "Appleton v. Alcorn, et al." on Justia Law