Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Friday, April 28, 2006

Case Law Development: Waiver of Employer Provided Life Insurance Benefits

The Michigan Supreme Court has held that the preemption provision of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) does not preclude a named beneficiary from waiving the proceeds from a life insurance policy. The court concluded that while a plan administrator is required by ERISA to distribute plan proceeds to the named beneficiary, the named beneficiary can then be found to have waived the right to retain those proceeds.  In this case, the Wife who had waived her right to life insurance proceeds could not retain those proceeds that had been delivered to her by the Plan Administrator of an employer-provided life insurance policy when Husband had failed to change the name of the beneficiary prior to his death.

Sweebe v Sweebe, 2006 Mich. LEXIS 690 (April 26, 2006)
Opinion on the web (last visited April 28, 2006 bgf

Thanks to Jeanne Hannah's Updates in Michigan Family Law Blog for the case.

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