Darty v. CornishAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court dismissing Plaintiff’s complaint for failure to state a claim, holding that the allegations in the complaint failed to state a claim of unjust enrichment upon which relief could be granted.
Michael Grauman, the decedent, executed transfer on death (TOD) beneficiary designations for three Ameriprise Financial accounts. After the decedent died and the funds were distributed pursuant to the TOD designations, Steve Darty, the successor trustee of the Michael R. Grauman Living Trust, filed a complaint challenging the validity of the TOD designations. Darty claimed that transfers unjustly enriched the TOD beneficiaries because the decedent intended to transfer the Ameriprise accounts into the Trust. The district court concluded that the decedent’s TOD designations superseded the contrary provisions in the Trust because the Ameriprise accounts were nonprobate assets. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court correctly concluded that the decedent’s TOD designations controlled the distribution of the proceeds from the Ameriprise accounts on the decedent’s death.