The Willick Law Group has drafted QDROs, COAPS, and military retirement benefit division orders for our own clients for decades. Over the last 10 years, we have also reviewed hundreds of QDROs drafted by other attorneys, accountants, or actuaries. We’ve discovered that a large number of retirement division orders contain mistakes of math, law, or process, preventing the intended beneficiary from actually receiving some or all lifetime or survivorship benefits. Even a small math error making a lifetime stream of payments bigger or smaller than it should be can add up to a huge monetary loss for a client.
For some years, we have drafted QDROs and other retirement benefit orders for other attorneys around the country, and we formally went into the business of doing so about a year ago. While this has benefited people with current retirement division cases, many people already have orders in place that were either written incorrectly or are mathematically defective.
So we have started a “QDRO Checkup” service. For a flat fee of $100, the Willick Law Group will review any defined benefit or defined contribution QDRO for legal and mathematical accuracy. Many such errors can be corrected, and we will advise, if we find an error, what could be done to address it. We will do the same for Civil Service COAPs and military retirement division orders.
To perform the review, we will require a copy of the QDRO or other retirement division order, and the underlying decree, order, or judgment calling for entry of the retirement order. We will also need some background facts specifying the relevant dates, etc., and have designed and posted below one-page forms for that information.
In addition, attorneys who may only draft QDROs occasionally – or who have been provided such an order by opposing counsel – may wish to utilize this service as a double check of the work, since the potential malpractice liability for doing these orders incorrectly is massive. The Willick Law Group can help lawyers uncertain about such orders better serve their clients.