Who is entitled toa 401 kif no one was named as the beneficiary?

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Who is entitled toa 401 kif no one was named as the beneficiary?

401k question My sister’s husband passed away a little over a year ago.   After more than 10 years of marriage, he overlooked naming her the beneficiary of his 401K plan which he had prior to his marriage. He has no kids. He has living parents, brother and sisters.  

Asked on March 4, 2012 under Estate Planning, Connecticut

Answers:

Steven Fromm / Steven J Fromm & Associates, P.C.

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Generally a retirement plan has defualt provisions when no beneficiary is named or the beneficiary and contingent beneficiaries predecease the participant.  In such cases the estate is usually the default beneficiaries but not always.  You need to have an estates attorney review the summary plan description and/or the actual plan document to get a conclusive answer.

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your sister's loss and the situation tht has resulted. What generally happens if there is no designated beneficiary on a retirement plan is that there is a default beneficiary listed: the estate.  Did he leave a Will?  Then it will govern the distribution.  If not then the intestacy statutes will govern.  Please seek legal help.  Good luck.


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