When we are asked to review equity plans and related agreements governing equity awards and share purchase rights granted to participants in the United States and abroad, they often contain beneficiary designation provisions. While nice in theory, beneficiary designations are administratively burdensome and fraught with pitfalls, particularly outside the United States.

As we’ve recently been helping several companies work through the ins and outs of the treatment of awards upon the death of a participant, we thought it would be worthwhile to highlight the potential complications with permitting beneficiary designations and provide alternate recommendations when drafting equity documentation and policies.

To learn more about the pros and cons of beneficiary designation provisions in equity plans and related agreements, see our recent National Association of Stock Plan Professionals (NASPP) guest blog post here.

Aimee Soodan

Aimee Soodan has experience in all areas of compensation and benefits with a concentration in US and international equity and executive compensation and provides holistic advice and counseling on all compensation and incentive arrangements, both for employees in and outside the United States. She is exceptionally well-versed with respect to the tax, legal and administrative aspects of global equity programs. Ms. Soodan is Director of the Global Equity Organization's US Midwest Chapter, serves on the National Association of Stock Plan Professionals’ Executive Advisory Committee and is an adjunct professor at the Center for Tax Law & Employee Benefits at The John Marshall Law School in Chicago.