Virginia Beach, VA asked in Family Law for Virginia

Q: I believe I am a beneficiary of a 401k but the family is blocking it and the employer won’t give me info ..what do I do

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1 Lawyer Answer
James D. Williams
James D. Williams
  • Richmond, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: Has the person who you believe designated you as their beneficiary died? Beneficiary designations typically can be changed fairly easily, compared to other estate planning tools. If the family of the person with the decedent is "trying to stop you," then there is realistically nothing they could do. It's treated like a contract between the 401K owner and the employer. Beneficiaries aren't entitled to review the plan either, typically, so unless the owner of the 401K has authorized you to review the plan, there's probably no way to verify. The employer has privacy concerns to consider. If the 401K owner has not died, then the only way to know would be to ask them.

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