Family Law

Family Law News 2016, Issue 4, Volume 38, No. 4

Term Life Insurance Since In Re Marriage of Burwell (2013)

R. Ann Fallon

Ann Fallon has practiced law for 31 years and is a frequent writer and contributor on employment and retirement benefits issues. She has been a Certified Family Law Specialist since 1997 and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers. She serves as the Administrative Chair of the QDRONES, who are all professional QDRO preparers. She received the 2015 Fellow of the Year Award from the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Northern California Chapter. She received the 2009 Hall of Fame Award from the Association of Certified Family Law Specialists, and received the Honored Fellow Award from the Northern California chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers in 2008. She writes for Continuing Education at the Bar and received the Spirit of CEB writer’s award for Family Law in 2007.

Advice to Client—"Regarding Your Term Life Insurance …"

1. Advice to Client: Disclose Term Life Insurance Policies: The Schedule of Assets and Debts, Judicial Council Form FL-142 at page 2 Section 10 is misleading according to the Appellate court in Burwell because it limits disclosure to LIFE INSURANCE with cash surrender or loan value. Mr. Burwell’s attorney explained to the court that TERM life insurance has no value—which is why Mr. Burwell did not disclose his $1 million term life insurance policy. The Burwell court was not impressed. It asked, rhetorically, "which is more authoritative, the disclosure statute or the Judicial Council form?" See In re Marriage of Burwell, 164 Cal.Rptr.3d 702 (2013).

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