We all know that New York State rarely has the best interest of its citizens in mind when writing laws that could potentially make it money.
A frightening example of this came to my attention yesterday, and I wanted to pass it along in hopes that raising awareness of it will help someone: If you are a teacher in NYS, please go over your retirement and insurance plans with a fine tooth comb and an advisor! There is a loophole in the law which, if not specifically and intentionally closed by an extra document, allows the state to pay out a one time lump sum to your surviving spouse/child and confiscate the rest of the money you paid into the program when you die!
My parents' advisor recently watched another of this clients get screwed over by this loophole and is now scrambling to prevent it from happening to anyone else in his circle. I doubt all advisors will be so aware or diligent, so please take steps to protect yourself!
(I apologize for the lack of specificity about the particulars - I don't have them on hand and wanted to post this asap. Email me or leave a comment if you'd like more info and I'll be happy to pass it along.)
Don't leave the state your money by mistake!