Latest Beneficiary News

The Supreme Court of the United States recently upheld a state court decision involving the revocation of a beneficiary designation.

A Minnesota resident forgot to update his beneficiary designation forms after he went through a divorce. Minnesota has a law that says any revocable beneficiary designations are automatically revoked if a former spouse is named, and the former spouse was not re-designated as a beneficiary after the divorce.

This policy owner still had his now former spouse as the primary beneficiary and his two children from his first marriage as contingent beneficiaries. When he died, they all made a claim to the policy proceeds.

After a long and expensive battle, the kids won. However, the lesson here is to make sure you do a beneficiary review at least once per year and every time you experience a life changing event such as birth, death, divorce, etc.

Your retirement distribution specialist can even help you with beneficiary reviews if you are unsure what to do or how to properly designate beneficiaries, so your intended beneficiaries aren’t faced with a similar headache.

Source: Sveen v. Melin, 138 S. Ct. 1815, 1823 (2018)

More Updates


For trusts that inherited an IRA in 2019, an important deadline is approaching. The due date to provide required trust documentation to the IRA custodian to ensure that the longest payout period possible is available for the inherited IRA is October 31, 2020. Generally, only individuals who are named on an IRA beneficiary form can

Read More »


The coronavirus-related distribution (CRD) rules for Roth conversions have a gaping hole. An “affected person” (as we have defined in previous blogs), is entitled under the CARES Act to withdraw up to $100,000 from their IRA or workplace retirement plan. A CRD avoids the 10% early distribution penalty for those under 59 1/2, can be

Read More »

Rolling Over an RMD

Like most people’s lives, the retirement world is upside down. This is made evident by a single statement: “Required minimum distributions (RMDs) can be rolled over.” Yes, that is the new normal—at least for this year. RMDs are considered the first money out of an IRA and workplace plan. Typically, these dollars are ineligible to

Read More »
Scroll to Top