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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:When Linda Ann McWhorter retired in May 1997 at age 54 after 33 years of teaching, she elected an “option 5″ annuity and designated her then-husband Tommy Joe Holmes as the beneficiary. The TRS form she signed correctly explained that she could not name joint primary beneficiaries and that she would receive a reduced annuity payable throughout her life with the provision that upon her death three-fourths of the reduced annuity would be continued throughout the life of and paid to the person designated hereupon as primary beneficiary. If her primary beneficiary predeceased her, her annuity payment would increase to the standard annuity amount. McWhorter was also entitled to a $10,000 lump-sum payment at her death. A year later, while going through a divorce, McWhorter signed a TRS form stating: “I hereby designate the following person(s) as my primary beneficiary(ies) to receive any payments which may be due under the Teacher Retirement System Law of the State of Texas following my death (joint beneficiaries to share alike, with right of survivorship only): Alan Brad Kent . . . [and] Cassie Elizabeth Kent.” The form stated that “[w]hen received by the Teacher Retirement System, this form revokes any previous beneficiary designation made by the member on a prescribed Teacher Retirement form.” Nevertheless, McWhorter’s submission of the form did not meet the statutory requirements for a change in the optional annuity beneficiary, because it designated two people, not one, and it was not accompanied by Holmes’ notarized consent or a divorce decree ordering a change. McWhorter died before properly amending her designation. Holmes sued, claiming his right to payments from McWhorter’s annuity. Her son Alan Brad Kent, who is the executor of her estate and only heir, joined by his ex-wife Cassie Elizabeth Kent, disagreed. They argued that McWhorter’s designation of them as beneficiaries of her other retirement benefits covered the optional annuity as well or at least showed her intent that they receive the annuity; and second, that Holmes and McWhorter’s divorce decree divested him of all interest in her retirement benefits. The trial court granted summary judgment for Holmes. The 6th Court of Appeals rejected the Kents’ first argument but agreed with the second, thus concluding that “while Holmes was entitled to receive the annuity payments because his designation as beneficiary was never changed, after the divorce he had no right to retain the payments unless McWhorter intended for him to have them.” Holmes petitioned the Texas Supreme Court for review. HOLDING:Reversed and rendered. The court disagreed with the 6th Court that a constructive trust in favor of the Kents, or either of them, could be imposed on the annuity payments to Holmes. The court stated that absent a valid designation as the one beneficiary of the optional annuity, Alan’s only claim to the payments was under his mother’s will, and Cassie had no claim at all. The divorce decree, the court stated, awarded McWhorter all rights in her TRS benefits, divested Holmes of any rights and required that he execute all papers necessary to carry out the decree. The decree thus denied Holmes any part of McWhorter’s benefits as his share of the community estate. The court stated that “[c]onstructive trusts, being remedial in character, have the very broad function of redressing wrong or unjust enrichment in keeping with basic principles of equity and justice.” The court stated that it could “see nothing equitable or just” in taking the annuity benefits from Holmes, which McWhorter “gave him and never took back.” OPINION:Per curiam.

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