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Old 04-16-2015, 06:18 PM
Location: Wisconsin
17,090 posts, read 17,432,102 times
Reputation: 41654


Originally Posted by thinkalot View Post
I don't think they are a rarity. Most families talk about these things quite often.
Originally Posted by sfcambridge View Post
Not in my circle - neither family or friends.
Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post
Nor mine.

I have so many friends (and a family member) whose fathers remarried late in life. Whether the men intended it or not, their second wife got everything.
While couples may talk about money, it is my experience that most families, especially parents and adult children, and really, really especially parents/step parents and adult children/step-children do not discuss money, inheritances and wills.

Last edited by germaine2626; 04-16-2015 at 06:39 PM..
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Old 04-17-2015, 08:32 AM
Location: Idaho
1,458 posts, read 1,160,613 times
Reputation: 5560
I just learned something new today about 401K beneficiary deisgnations

401k Beneficiary Designations: Getting the Right Assets to the Right People - 401khelpcenter.com

Through discussions in this thread, I first learned that the spouse is the automatic beneficiary for married people. I thought the easy solution was just to name our daughter as the designated beneficiary for both our 401K accounts and we both would sign our respective spousal waivers.

What I did not know was the following:

These rules can cause problems when the owner of a retirement account remarries. Often, the owner will change his or her beneficiary designation upon divorce and name the children as the designated beneficiaries. If the owner later remarries, though, 50 percent of the retirement assets will go to the new spouse instead of the children, even if the new spouse is not added as a beneficiary.
I learned from this thread and got confirmation from this article that this automatic spousal right does not apply to IRAs:

In contrast to 401ks, IRAs are controlled by state law that does not automatically grant spouses beneficiary rights. By rolling a 401k into an IRA, an owner gains flexibility to name anyone as the designated beneficiary, with or without a spouse's consent. Federal courts have confirmed that spouses do not have ERISA rights with IRAs.
Since our 401K plans have low fees and allow many investment options, my husband has not rolled over his to an IRA account even though he stopped working for the company a while ago. I had planned to leave mine in the current 401K after my retirement. We will consider moving our 401K to IRAs in the near future once I find the time to figure out all the IRA investment options. For now, I am happy with just designate our daughter as the main beneficiary of our 401K.
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Old 04-17-2015, 08:35 AM
71,977 posts, read 72,020,102 times
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you can not even get a distribution from a 401k plan without a spousal consent form .
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