White Paper

How to Avoid Costly Beneficiary Designation Litigation – Helpful Hints for All Benefit Plans


To avoid costly litigation, employers should review the beneficiary designation language in their plan documents.

SPDs, online discussions, and any other employee communications about their plans should be reviewed by employers as well. Having specific and consistent directions on how to change a beneficiary designation is helpful and can be critical for those who administer the plan in ensuring that they follow the plan’s written terms.



Katherine L. Aizawa

Foley & Lardner LLP

  • Special counsel with the law firm of Foley & Lardner LLP and member of the firm’s employee benefits and executive compensation and employment practices groups
  • Practice focuses on employee benefits, including health and welfare plans, pension plans, and executive deferred compensation 457 plans
  • Advises clients on COBRA and HIPAA issues as well as third-party vendor health and welfare agreements
  • J.D. degree, University of San Francisco Law School; B.A. degree, University of Idaho
  • Can be contacted at 415-438-6483 or [email protected]

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