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Tag Archives: life insurance

The difference between lying and committing fraud (access required)

Lorenzo Smallwood fibbed when he filled out an application for life insurance in 2007. He wrote that he’d never been treated for a mental disorder or alcohol dependency, and hadn’t recently used cocaine. In fact, the year before, he expressed concerns to a doctor that he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder from his time in Iraq and reported that he drank heavily and used cocaine.

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Bankruptcy – Exemptions – ‘Liquid Asset’ – Life Insurance – Cash Surrender Value (access required)

In re Wilde The cash surrender value of a life insurance policy is not a “liquid asset”; therefore, the debtor cannot claim the cash surrender value of his life insurance policy as an exemption under S.C. Code Ann. § 15-41-30(A)(5). The trustee’s objection is sustained, and the debtor’s claimed exemption is disallowed. Black’s Law Dictionary defines a “liquid asset” as “an asset that is readily convertible into cash, such as a marketable security, a note, or an account receivable.”

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Attorneys – Fiduciary Duty – Question of Law – Breach – Question of Fact – Former Client – Trusts & Estates – Life Insurance (access required)

Spence v. Wingate Although the existence of a fiduciary duty is a question of law for the court, our Court of Appeals was correct that there is a genuine issue of material fact as to whether the defendant-attorney breached his fiduciary duty to his former client. We modify and affirm the Court of Appeals’ decision, which reversed the circuit court’s grant of partial summary judgment for the defendant-attorney.

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Labor & Employment – ERISA – Life Insurance – Benefits Denied – Premiums Refunded (access required)

McCravy v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. A bank employee who paid for life insurance for her daughter through her employee benefit plan, but who was denied insurance benefits when her 25-year-old daughter died, is not entitled to the insurance proceeds as "equitable relief" for the insurance carrier's breach of fiduciary duty after the daughter was no longer eligible for the insurance; the 4th Circuit says plaintiff only gets a refund of the premiums she paid.

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