June 13, 2014 Articles

Investor/Stranger–Owned Life Insurance: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

An examination of the most common types of this insurance, its uses and abuses, current litigation, and legislative reactions regulating or banning it

by Charles C. Morgan [1]

Almost from its inception, the sale of life insurance has been subject to regulatory restrictions intended, among other things, to prevent wagering on the lives of the insureds. Thus, various states have enacted insurable interest statutes limiting purchases of insurance to individuals with a close familial relationship to the insured.

Legislatures have expanded those insurable interest statutory provisions over time to permit sales of life insurance to purchasers who have a financial or other legitimate interest in keeping the insured person alive, including situations where there is an economic relationship (e.g., where an employer incurs a financial detriment triggered by the death of the insured).

Legitimate uses of life insurance for purely economic purposes can be obscure to the uninformed spectator[2] and easily confused with its acquisition by third parties who do not have any relationship with the insured except by virtue of owning the insurance policy.

Prohibited stranger-owned life insurance (STOLI)[3] generally is defined as a practice, arrangement, or agreement initiated at or prior to the issuance of a policy that includes one of the following:

(a) the purchase or acquisition of a policy primarily benefiting one or more persons who, at the time of issuance of the policy, lack insurable interest in the person insured under the policy, or

(b)  the purchase of a policy with the intent to transfer the legal or beneficial ownership of the policy, or benefits of the policy or both, in whole or in part, including through an assumption or forgiveness of a loan to fund premiums, to an individual or entity lacking insurable interest in the person being insured.[4]

The definition also is extended to include life insurance purchased by or transferred to trusts, or other persons, that are created primarily to give the appearance of insurable interest and are used to initiate one or more policies for investors but actually used to effect life insurance purchases that violate insurable interest laws and the prohibition against wagering on life.[5] However, the definitions of prohibited STOLI typically exclude viatical settlement transactions.[6]

The statutory prohibitions applicable to STOLI sometimes further provide that any contract, agreement, arrangement, or transaction including, but not limited to, any financing agreement or arrangement entered into for the furtherance or aid of a stranger-originated life insurance act, practice, arrangement, or agreement is void and unenforceable.[7]

Types of Stranger-Owned Life Insurance

Many acronyms can be used for STOLI, depending on the particular facts involving ownership of the life insurance policy. A brief review of those acronyms and their uses sets the stage for ownership uses comprising “the good, the bad, and the ugly.”

Trust-owned life insurance (TOLI). While the acronym TOLI technically can refer to any life insurance contract owned by any type of trust, it generally refers to policies covering the lives of employees of a sponsor (usually corporate) of a trust that has been established and funded expressly to purchase, pay for, and own the life insurance coverage, which in turn is held for the purpose of funding any of a number of employer-sponsored employee benefits.

TOLI can be used to

· finance the cost of nonqualified deferred compensation (rabbi trusts),
· provide estate liquidity (irrevocable life insurance trusts),
· provide incidental life insurance benefits for qualified plan participants (501(c)(1) trusts (i.e., pension and profit sharing trusts)), or
· finance the cost of retiree health care benefits (voluntary employees’ beneficiary association , or VEBAs)

Frequently, the trust is a 501(c)(9) tax-exempt trust, i.e., a voluntary employees’ beneficiary association (VEBA). Life insurance owned by a VEBA trust may be called TOLI or VOLI.

The legitimacy of using VOLI to finance the cost of retiree health care benefits can be obscure to the uninformed spectator. It has been said that “one in every seven health-care dollars being spent each year is on the last six months of someone’s life.”[8] Published studies have shown that 25–30 percent of the Medicare budget is consumed by roughly 5 percent of the Medicare population in their last year of life.[9]

It seems counterintuitive that life insurance could be a superior solution for the funding of retiree health care benefits. But no other financial instrument is capable of providing an equivalent hedge against the catastrophic costs of the final illness incurred by employers on behalf of their retired employees. VOLI is a preferred alternative to the employer’s termination of retiree health coverage for its employees, and state insurable interest laws recognize it as such.

Corporate-owned life insurance (COLI). COLI is a life insurance policy covering the lives of employees, and it is purchased and paid for by a corporation. COLI falls into many different categories:

“Leveraged” COLI leverages tax-deductible loan interest against the tax-free “inside buildup” of the cash surrender value. It is used nominally for informally financing employee benefits and executive benefits. It is frequently broad-based but limited to management employees. Some companies became very aggressive by insuring virtually of their employees, so-called janitor insurance covering the lives of several thousand employees (including at least one case, ultimately disallowed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and subsequently “unwound,” covering more than 20,000 employee lives).

Despite its nominal employee benefits financing purpose, the purchase of leveraged COLI frequently has in fact been driven more by corporate finance considerations than by employee benefit financing considerations. By the mid-1990s, it became widely viewed as an abusive tax “loophole,” and changes to the Internal Revenue Code, along with IRS disallowances of many broad-based plans, have effectively eliminated the use of leveraged COLI as a corporate finance tool. Generally, only pre–Tax Reform Act of 1986 plans, which tend not to be broad based, exist today.

“Unleveraged” COLI frequently is “traditional” life insurance the purpose of which is to transfer mortality risk from the corporate owner of the life insurance to the insurance company. It is most frequently purchased in the form of term life insurance with no cash surrender value.

Unleveraged COLI also is purchased in the form of investment-oriented cash value life insurance. It is most often used to fund employee benefits or executive benefits similarly to TOLI, but because the insurance policies are not held in a trust, the legal tie to benefits funding is weaker. The insured group typically is either a small number of senior executives or a moderate number (from several dozen up to several hundred or even a few thousand) of management employees.

Investment-oriented unleveraged COLI is most attractive to corporations with access to low-cost capital for which the after-tax returns on cash value life insurance can be quite attractive financially.[10]

The following are types of “unleveraged” COLI:

· “Buy-sell” life insurance, used to insure against financial harm to a small corporation or partnership that could arise from the unexpected death of a business co-owner. The death proceeds are paid to surviving co-owners. The surviving co-owners then use the proceeds to purchase the business interest of the deceased co-owner (usually at an agreed price) from his or her estate, thereby providing estate liquidity for that business interest to the heirs of the decedent. It also allows the surviving business owners to conduct the business without interference from the surviving members of the family.

· “Key-person” life insurance, used to insure against financial harm that could ensue in the event of the unexpected death of certain key individuals. It generally covers only one or a small handful of executives or business owners.

· “Creditors” or “collateral protection” life insurance, used to insure against the death of a creditor. The proceeds are used to pay off the balance of an outstanding loan.

· “Informal” funding of the cost of employee benefits.[11]

Investor-owned life insurance (IOLI). IOLI is a life insurance policy covering the life of an individual unrelated to the policy owner by either familial relationship or economic relationship.

Both individual and institutional investors may consider life insurance to be an attractive asset category because they see its investment returns as being “uncorrelated” to other asset categories, whether equities or fixed-income instruments, thus damping volatility of portfolio investment returns.

The return[12] realized by the investor in a life insurance policy will be at least equal to interest credited on the cash value subsequent to the policy being acquired by the investor, net of policy charges and loads deducted from the cash value over the same period of time. That net return could be a very small or even negative value in many cases. But the actual return could be a great deal greater than this floor.

That ultimate return to an investor holding an IOLI policy is determined by the timing of the death of the insured; thus, the investor might be seen as “betting” or “wagering” on the early death of the insured. As a federal district court in Nevada explained: “Thus, in these cases, investors are not simply gambling on the life or death of the insured, they realize a greater return the sooner the insured dies. These arrangements ultimately amount to unlawful wagering and have generally been disfavored by courts.”[13]

If premiums are payable after an investor acquires a life insurance policy, the premiums are either paid by the investor or, under some mechanism, arranged by the investor, e.g., either a prepaid premium account, or an annuity on the life of the insured, or simply cash payments made to the insurer.

When a policy is issued with the initial intent to transfer ownership to an investor, the investor usually finances the payment of all premiums, including premiums payable before the transfer of policy ownership. For large cases involving multiple policies and multiple insureds, the investor may issue securities (bonds) to finance premium payments.

To satisfy applicable insurable interest statutes, the insurance must have been applied for and purchased by either the insured or an individual or entity that has a close familial relationship or a meaningful business relationship to the insured for legitimate initial risk-transfer purposes. Unlike most other forms of insurance, the normal standard for life insurance is that an insurable interest need be established only at the time of purchase. In the case of life insurance policies purchased with the intent of transferring ownership to an investor, however, that normal standard may be brought into question.

After a life insurance policy is transferred to an investor in exchange for valuable consideration, the death proceeds under the policy likely will be taxable income, but under current tax law, the inside buildup of cash value likely will not be taxed unless withdrawn.

The following are types of IOLI:

· Investor-originated life insurance, where the insured is induced (for money) to purchase the policy with the intention of transferring ownership to the investor. It is often characterized by various misrepresentations on the application for insurance, particularly regarding the insured’s net worth.

Investor-purchased life insurance (“life settlements”), where a policy owner, often a terminally ill or aged insured, sells the life insurance policy to an investor for an amount exceeding the cash surrender value but less than the death benefit. The insured takes advantage of the cash proceeds from the sale of the policy (probably taxable to the insured as ordinary income to the extent of any realized gain) while still living, and the investor takes the full death benefit for its return on the “investment” of dollars paid to the terminally ill insured (any gain from which will be taxable to the investor as ordinary income).

· Charity-owned life insurance (CHOLI), where insurance brokers have lobbied successfully for amendments to state insurable interest laws permitting CHOLI.[14] CHOLI premiums typically are financed by a third-party investor. The investor is supposed to receive a return of its investment plus attractive investment returns that almost always are dependent on unrealistic mortality assumptions. The charity typically stands first in line ahead of the investor to receive a defined amount from the death proceeds. The insured is led to believe that he or she is doing his or her favorite charity a favor at no financial cost, the only “cost” being the use of his or her life as an insured. There is a fair risk that the charity’s expectations will not be met, and there is a remote to nonexistent likelihood that the investor’s expectations will be met. Major insurers will not issue CHOLI policies willingly.

· Life insurance/life annuity combinations (LILACs), a variation of CHOLI where a trust is used to purchase and then to pay the proceeds of life annuity contracts and life insurance policies to investors and charities. In the typical arrangement, the trust sells equity securities to investors, obtains life insurance and life annuities on the lives of consenting individuals, pays the premiums, and issues a second class of securities to charitable organizations designated by the consenting individuals. Under LILACs, the investors typically stand in line for collection of the insurance proceeds ahead of the charity. The Tennessee attorney general has ruled that trusts and life insurance agents involved in a LILAC transaction are not required to register under the Tennessee Solicitation of Charitable Funds Act.[15] Major insurers will not issue LILAC policies wittingly.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Many STOLI arrangements are soundly structured, have a legitimate function, and provide meaningful benefit to the covered insureds. Other forms of STOLI are poorly conceived, unlikely to achieve financial objectives or, in some cases, provide no benefit whatsoever to the covered insureds. Still other STOLI arrangements are predicated on fraud or, not only do they provide no benefit to the covered insureds, the programs are distinctly not in the best interests of the insureds.

The good. “Good” or “legitimate” TOLI or COLI is purchased with the knowledge and consent of the insured(s) and is purchased for legitimate risk management purposes. The death benefit proceeds are used for the benefit of the insured(s) (either individually or collectively).

“Good” or “legitimate” IOLI comprises life insurance contracts originally purchased for legitimate risk management or asset accumulation purposes. It is written under a soundly designed and priced policy with no intent at policy inception to “sell” the policy to a third party. It subsequently is sold for fair value to an investor because of a change in circumstances where the original purpose of the life insurance is no longer desirable or achievable.

The bad. “Bad” TOLI or COLI is issued without the informed written consent of the insured(s). It has no risk management purpose for the life insurance coverage, and policy proceeds are not used for the direct and exclusive benefit of the covered insured(s).

“Bad” IOLI is purchased with the intent to transfer ownership to an investor. The premium is financed by the investor from inception. The purchase is structured to take advantage of inefficiencies in policy design, pricing, or underwriting, resulting in a purchase that is financially detrimental to insurers in general.

“Bad” IOLI exists largely because projected “profits” from mortality gains are the foundation of most (if not all) sales pitches and purchase decisions. Profits are very unlikely in all events.

The idea that investors can profit from investing in life insurance is fatally flawed. Profits from mortality gains are statistically improbable under any large block of policies (i.e., 500 or more lives). “Profits” can, of course, be realized on individual policies when earlier-than-expected deaths (mortality gains) occur. But “profits” from mortality gains statistically will occur only in a minority of cases absent a catastrophic event affecting many insureds covered in the same IOLI block at one time (e.g., a “World Trade Center event”). In fact, more often than not, mortality losses (i.e., insureds living on average longer than implied by the policy pricing) will be realized on most large blocks of policies.

Because it is not reasonable to expect mortality gains, the “frictional cost” of the insurance policy (items charged, either implicitly or explicitly, against policy returns due to sales commissions, state premium tax, the insurer’s cost of administering the policy, and insurer profits) that must be overcome in order to profit from investing in life insurance is at least 125 basis points (1.25 percent) per year under the most competitively priced insurance contracts with very low commissions. In other words, even in a best case scenario gross cash value growth must be at least 5.25 percent to achieve a 4.00 percent “return.” And, in reality, the products acquired in most “bad” IOLI cases have a “frictional cost” far exceeding 125 basis points.

The ugly. “Ugly” TOLI or COLI not only is issued without the knowledge of the insured(s), but there is a questionable basis for any insurable interest at inception. There is no risk management purpose that can benefit the insured. The policy proceeds are not used in any way to benefit the covered insured(s) (e.g., “janitor” insurance used to finance executive benefits).

“Ugly” STOLI/IOLI is life insurance coverage pursuant to a fraudulent application either hiding or misrepresenting the applicant’s medical circumstances or either hiding or misrepresenting the applicant’s financial circumstances. It is a transaction designed such that, among the direct participants (investor(s), insured(s), insurance company, and, if applicable, nonprofit organization), at least one party is virtually guaranteed to realize a loss and, in many cases no party, other than the insurance broker collecting a commission in the sale of the life insurance, is likely to realize a financial benefit.

As noted above, material misrepresentations have been the foundation for many STOLI/IOLI sales. Material misrepresentations generally fall into two categories:

·  material misrepresentations on the application (e.g., regarding the health or net worth of the insured), or

·  sales illustrations using an assumption of statistically improbable patterns of early deaths to show mortality gains from a large block of policies that has little likelihood of occurring in the absence of a World Trade Center event.[16]

Material misrepresentations exist where the misrepresentations substantially influenced the insurer’s decision to provide coverage.[17] Material misrepresentations on the application are fraud prohibited by state law. [18] Insurance fraud is a crime.[19]

Although the insurance company is the most likely party to be harmed by “ugly” STOLI/IOLI, the fact is that insurance company “lapse-based pricing” encourages STOLI/IOLI sales (STOLI/IOLI is not expected to lapse). Actuarial Standard of Practice 24 defines lapse support (or “lapse-based pricing”) as a pricing practice where the policy would generate insurer losses given the persistency assumptions[20] actually used in pricing the policy for the first five years and assuming 100 percent persistency thereafter. Those states that have adopted the model regulation do not prohibit the sale of lapse-supported life insurance products but do prohibit showing a prospect any values that are not guaranteed under a policy that is deemed to be lapse-supported—an important consideration if illustrations are used in connection with the sale of a policy and especially if an appropriate presentation of the product requires an illustration.

Key Issues Bearing on Litigation about STOLI

STOLI issues can be exceedingly complex and very challenging for a court to adjudicate. The case law is relatively sparse and continues to evolve.

STOLI transactions can be legal under some circumstances and illegal under others. The status of any STOLI transaction is highly dependent on the facts as well as the law of the governing jurisdiction.

Conflicts of law and grouping of contacts analysis. Conflicts-of-law issues are significant in most STOLI cases. That is because there are a myriad of “touch points” typically arising in the sale and placement of any STOLI contract bearing on the “grouping of contacts” analysis.[21] Moreover, it goes without saying that the law of the governing jurisdiction can have a profound effect on the outcome of any litigation.

Key questions to consider:

·  Where was an illustration presented to the prospective purchaser?
·  Did the illustration comply with the requirements of that state law?
·  Where was the broker/agent licensed to sell life insurance?
·  Was the broker/agent licensed in the state where the illustration was presented, the application was taken, and the STOLI contract was delivered?
·  Where was the application signed?
·  What was the domicile of the issuing life insurance company?

The contestability provision. All states mandate inclusion of a contestability provision in any life insurance policy form[22] before it will be approved by the state for sale to the public. The typical period is two years during the lifetime of the insured,[23] after which the insurer might be prohibited from contesting the policy, even for fraud in the application.

If an insurer tries to rescind a STOLI contract during the contestable period, rescission might be denied where the insurance company had information in its possession at the time of policy issue that, if it had been investigated, would have caused the insurer to not issue the policy.[24]

The governing jurisdiction might have enacted an antifraud statute, however, trumping the contestability provision.[25] Or a court might ignore the provision altogether on principles of equity.[26]

Insurers have successfully challenged the validity of STOLI after expiration of the contestable period in a majority of United States jurisdictions under the theory that the contestable provision never is effective under a STOLI/IOLI contract that is found to be void from inception.[27]

STOLI contracts cannot be challenged in a minority of jurisdictions once the contestable period has expired, the courts there analogizing the contestable provision to a statute of limitations.[28]

Payment of death benefits, return of premiums, and damages. In cases where the STOLI contract matures as a death claim prior to the expiration of the contestability period, the insurance company can contest the payment. Even in this case, however, if the insurance company had information in its possession at the time of policy issue that, if it had been investigated, would have caused the insurer to not issue the policy, the insurer could be estopped from contesting the contract, in which case the insurer might not be relieved of its obligation to pay the death benefits to the beneficiary.[29]

But, to the extent that the insurance company made underwriting decisions that seem unreasonable in hindsight, a court might excuse the insurer where the decision to issue the policy was the result of honest mistakes, not bad faith. One court has recognized that an underwriting process could be flawed, but not rigged, given the fact that some underwriters simply do better work than others and even the best underwriters make mistakes.[30]

If the challenge is successful, however, the court will relieve the insurance company from its obligation to pay the death benefits to the beneficiary. In that case, the question arises whether the insurance company must return the premiums to the premium payer. The courts have reached different conclusions on the issue in cases where STOLI is involved, even though the general rule is that premiums must be returned when a life insurance contract has been rescinded.

A return of premiums has been ordered under a theory of unjust enrichment[31] as well as a theory that all parties should be returned to the status quo (i.e., the insurance company cannot both demand rescission and keep the premium).[32]

A return of premiums has been denied under a theory that fraudulent behavior should not be rewarded.[33] Where a policy was procured through actual fraud of the insured, courts have held that the insurer is not required to return premium upon rescission even where the premium was funded by, and ultimately would be returned to, an innocent third-party lender.[34]

Damages, including restitution of the entire investment, interest on the invested funds, and an award of attorney fees, can be ordered by a court to a defrauded investor who is misled into an illegal STOLI arrangement.[35]

Damages, including return of commissions, can be imposed on the brokers/agents who sold a STOLI contract, the theory being that the brokers/agents have breached the contracts with the insurers governing their sales practices.[36]

Conclusion

The licensing status of the broker/agent selling STOLI should not be overlooked in an attorney’s review of the touch points bearing on the choice of venue.

The contractual status of the sales person as either a captive agent (or employee) of the insurer or an independent broker representing numerous insurers could affect the outcome. Similarly, there are robust laws governing sales practices of both insurers and brokers/agents that could have an important bearing on the outcome of any litigation.

Attorneys are well-advised to retain experts in insurable interest law, insurance sales practices, broker/agent-insurer marketing agreements, and internal control practices of insurers before filing any pleadings in a STOLI case.

Keywords: litigation, insurance, coverage, insurable interest, contestability provision, estopped, unjust enrichment

Charles Morgan is a principal at HMH Consulting in Bonita Springs, Florida.


 

[1] Charles Morgan is a principal at HMH Consulting in Bonita Springs, Florida. This article is adapted from an outline prepared for a CLE Roundtable Luncheon held on Friday, March 7, 2014, during the American Bar Association Insurance Coverage Litigation Committee CLE Seminar at the Loews Ventana Canyon in Tucson, Arizona, March 5–8 2014.
[2] See, e.g., Ellen E. Schultz & Theo Francis,“Valued Employees: Worker Dies, Firm Profits—Why?,” Wall St. J., Apr. 19, 2002, at A1.
[3] The terms “investor-owned life insurance (IOLI), stranger-owned life insurance (STOLI), and stranger-originated life insurance (STOLI) commonly are used interchangeably. This article will use “STOLI” to refer to both except where distinctions between the two are discussed.
[4] See, e.g., Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3916.01.
[5] See, e.g.,  Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3916.01.
[6] See, e.g.,  Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3916.01.
[7] See, e.g.,  Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3916.172.
[8] Nicola Clark, “The High Costs of Dying,” Wall St. J., Feb. 26, 1992, at A12.
[9] See Alan M. Garber, Thomas E. MaCurdy & Mark C. McClellan, “Medical Care at the End of Life: Diseases, Treatment Patterns, and Costs,” 2 Frontiers in Health Policy Res. 77 (1999); Christopher Hogan et al., “Medicare Beneficiaries’ Costs of Care in the Last Year of Life,” 20 Health Aff. 188 (July/Aug. 2001); Gerald Riley et al., “The Use and Costs of Medicare Services by Cause of Death,” 24 Inquiry 23 (Fall 1987); James D. Lubitz & Ronald Prihoda, “The Use and Costs of Medicare Services in the Last 2 years of Life,” 5 Health Care Fin. Rev. 117 (Spring 1984); Gerald Riley & J.D. Lubitz, “Longitudinal Patterns of Medicare Use by Cause of Death,” 11 Health Care Fin. Rev. 1 (Winter 1989).
[10] Under current tax law, the “inside buildup” of cash value in a life insurance policy generally is not taxed. And under most circumstances, death benefits also are not income taxable. Thus, a COLI policy held until the death of the insured may effectively be a tax-free investment instrument.
[11] The funding is “informal” because there is no strict legal linkage between the life insurance and the employee benefits being funded, but the purchase and holding of the life insurance are justified, sometimes in compliance with certain regulatory mandates, as a funding vehicle for those benefits.
[12] Under current tax law, IOLI returns are not necessarily free of income tax.
[13] Carton v. B&B Equities Grp., LLC, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129633, at *5–6 (D. Nev. Sept. 10, 2013).
[14] See, e.g., S.C. Code Ann. § 38-63-100; Tenn. Code Ann. § 56-7-314 (3).
[15] Tenn. Att’y Gen. Op. No. 04-168 (Nov. 23, 2004).
[16] This likely is a prohibited deceptive trade practice. See, e.g., N.J. Stat. § 17B:30-4.
[17] PHL Variable Ins. Co. v. 2008 Irrevocable Trust, 970 F. Supp. 2d 932, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129657 (D. Minn. 2013).
[18] See, e.g., N.J. Stat. § 17B:24-3d.
[19] See, e.g., N.J. Stat. § 2C:21-4.6.
[20] A “persistency assumption,” for purposes of pricing a life insurance policy, is the projected probability that a policy will not be terminated during a certain period of time after policy issue for any reason other than the death of the insured.
[21] See, e.g., Reassure Am. Life Ins. Co. v. Midwest Res., Ltd., 721 F. Supp. 2d 346, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 58392 (E.D. Pa. 2010).
[22] See, e.g., N.J. Stat. Ann. § 17B:25-4.
[23] N.J. Stat. Ann. § 17B:25-4.
[24] See, e.g., Ashkenazi v. AXA Equitable Life Ins. Co., 91 A.D.3d 576, 937 N.Y.S.2d 215, 2012 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 551, 2012 NY Slip Op 644 (N.Y. App. Div. 1st Dep’t 2012).
[25] See, e.g., N.J. Stat. Ann. § 17:33A-2.
[26] See, e.g., Johnson v. Metro. Life Ins. Co., 79 A.D.3d 450, 913 N.Y.S.2d 44, 2010 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 9115, 2010 NY Slip Op 8985 (2010);Ledley v. William Penn Life Ins. Co., 138 N.J. 627, 651 A.2d 92, 1995 N.J. LEXIS 3 (1995).
[27] PHL Variable Ins. Co. v. Bank of Utah, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168731 (D. Minn. 2013); see Wilmington Sav. Fund Soc’y, FSB v. PHL Variable Ins. Co., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 48877 (D. Del. Apr. 9, 2014).
[28] Hartford Life & Annuity Ins. Co. v. Doris Barnes Family 2008 Irrevocable Trust, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17770 (C.D. Cal. 2012), aff’d,2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 647 (9th Cir. 2014); Pruco Life Ins. Co. v. U.S. Bank, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 118202 (S.D. Fla. 2013). But a different judge in that same Florida federal district court reached a different result. Pruco Life Ins. Co. v. Brasner, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1598 (S.D. Fla. 2011).
[29] See Ashkenazi, 91 A.D.3d 576, 937 N.Y.S.2d 215, 2012 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 551, 2012 NY Slip Op 644; Nationwide Life Ins. Co. v. Steiner, 722 F. Supp. 2d 179, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71163 (D.R.I. 2010).
[30] PHL Variable Ins. Co. v. 2008 Irrevocable Trust, 970 F. Supp. 2d 932, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129657 (D. Minn. 2013).
[31] LincolnWay Cmty. Bank v. Allianz Life Ins. Co. of N. Am., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132536 (N.D. Ill. 2013).
[32] Lincoln Nat’l Life Ins. Co. v. Snyder, 722 F. Supp. 2d 546, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71127 (D. Del. 2010).
[33] PHL Variable Ins. Co. v. Sheldon Hathaway Family Ins. Trust ex rel. Hathaway, No. 2:10-CV-67, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169823 (D. Utah 2013).
[34] PHL Variable Ins. Co. v. 2008 Irrevocable Trust, 970 F. Supp. 2d 932, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129657 (D. Minn. 2013), citing PHL Variable Ins. Co. v. Lucille E. Morello 2007 Irrevocable Trust, 645 F.3d 965, 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 14338 (8th Cir. 2011).
[35] See Carton v. B & B Equities Grp., LLC, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 30613 (D. Nev. 2014).
[36] See W. Reserve Life Assurance Co. v. Conreal LLC, 715 F. Supp. 2d 270, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56340 (D.R.I. 2010) (a case involving stranger-initiated annuity transactions).

Copyright © 2014, American Bar Association. All rights reserved. This information or any portion thereof may not be copied or disseminated in any form or by any means or downloaded or stored in an electronic database or retrieval system without the express written consent of the American Bar Association. The views expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of the American Bar Association, the Section of Litigation, this committee, or the employer(s) of the author(s).