Q: Can I list a specific chapter of a fraternity as a beneficiary on a 401K?
I'm opening a 401k with my new employer and want to know if I can list my former fraternity's chapter specifically as my beneficiary or not. Assume that there will be no spouse in the picture and that the beneficiary will be updated if there is.
I would NOT list your fraternity as a beneficiary to your 401K, but rather make other arrangements in your estate plan. As to if you can name a specific chapter in your fraternity - that could depend on the fraternity, so I cannot give you a good answer on that, you would need to speak to them.
Naming a fraternity as the beneficiary to the 401K is not advised (I say this as a fraternity man myself). While I do not know your current or future marital status, in the sate of Illinois, a spouse has the automatic right to all assets in a deceased spouse's 401K. The only way around this right is for the surviving spouse to have signed a waiver, while the two were married, waiving that right. So naming the fraternity, while nice, may not achieve the goal you want. As I said above, it would be better to make other arrangements.
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