Spouse as beneficiary in 401(k)


Dear javaking66:

Greetings. You may have to show your divorce decree, but otherwise after you are divorced you should be able to simply change the beneficiary without his signature. Best of luck.

Janet L. Fritts
Attorney with Rosen Divorce
4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


I will be filing for divorce as soon as the 12 month seperation period is over. I have my husband’s name as beneficiary in my 401(k) account. Once I get the divorce decree, can I just put in a request with my employer to remove his name as beneficiary? Or do I need to do some kind of court action to expedite this.

As always, I am very thankful to you for your valuable suggestions and prompt response.