Monday, September 16, 2013
Feuer on How Should ERISA Plans Handle Powers of Attorney and Court-Appointed Guardians and the Absence of Such Agents for Participants Lacking Capacity?
Albert Feuer has completed the final article of a trilogy discussing the benefit rights of an ERISA plan participant or beneficiary. The third piece is: “How Should ERISA Plans Handle Powers of Attorney and Court-Appointed Guardians and the Absence of Such Agents for Participants Lacking Capacity?,” 54 Tax Mgmt. Memo. 351 (September 9, 2013) .
Albert explains that this newest piece describes some of the ERISA benefit rights that a participant or beneficiary may exercise and (1) argues that ERISA plans may, but need not, disregard state law agents seeking to exercise such rights other than pursuing a benefit claim, (2) makes suggestions for plan powers of attorneys that are likely to be understood by participants and may minimize plan risks, and (3) observes that participant directed plans will be responsible for investment decisions when a participant or beneficiary lacks the capacity to exercise investment rights, but has not appointed a third party agent to act on his or her behalf (this often occurs during the time between the time a participant dies and a beneficiary assumes such responsibilities).
Another welcome addition to the ERISA literature in this important area of the law.