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Financial Planning / Foolish 401(k)s


Subject:  Re: Any Help Appreciated Date:  7/9/2007  12:17 PM
Author:  AcmeFool Number:  22108 of 26155

It would become part of your estate and would be handled in accordance with the provisions of your will. If there is no will it would be handled in accordance with the probate provisions of your state of residency.

Bob, you normally are one person I defer to on issues such as this, but you are incorrect in this case -- 401k accounts pass directly to a surviving spouse unless there is a signed statement waiving their status as the automatic beneficiary. I am virtually certain this even supersedes a named beneficiary that is not the surviving spouse. Basically, the only way a 401k can pass on to someone other than the surviving spouse is to have the signed statement.

If there is no surviving spouse *and* no named beneficiaries, it would then pass into the estate.

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