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Ask Lane Your Own Question
Category: Finance
Satisfied Customers: 12204
Experience:  Law Degree, specialization in Tax Law and Corporate Law, CFP and MBA, Providing Financial & Tax advice since 1986
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Have been married for 46 years and worked as a Nursing Consultant

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Have been married for 46 years and worked as a Nursing Consultant for visually impaired persons. Also worked 20 yrs as a public health nurse. Became disabled in 2001 and had to discontinue working at a job I enjoyed very much. Tiscontinue putting any monies into my 401K

Hi Barbera,



. I think your question must have become truncated ... cut off somehow, by the system.



If you'll get back to me with the rest of your question, I ll be glad to help.



Let me know Lane



Lane and other Finance Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My apologies for the lengthy question. Did not see where I was supposed to keep things brief. Guess that is common sense, though. When should I get back with you and may I have access to the info you did receive.

Many thanks,


Hi Barbara...




No, you can be as detailed as you like...


I just wasn't sure what the question WAS.


The last line of your questions was... "Tiscontinue putting any monies into my 401K"





Are you asking about how to get dollars out?


or maybe about the taxation of them?


Or about just HOW to stop making contributions?





If you give me a little more detail, I ll be glad to help.


I'll be here waiting...







Hi Barbara,

I'm just following up with you to see how I can help

Let me know,
Hi Barbara,

Just checking back in, as I hadn't heard from you

Let me know how I can help
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

My husband and I8 years ago transferring the monies into an account in his name only. He did say some of the money could be used to assist me if I had a need. Needless to say, I have been heart broken over this.

Is this legal?

Please help.







For some reason, your messages t me are only partially coming through.

Let me Paste here, below, what I see from your most recent posting:

"My husband and I8 years ago transferring the monies into an account in his name only. He did say some of the money could be used to assist me if I had a need. Needless to say, I have been heart broken over this.

Is this legal?

Please help.


Are you saying that he is transferring money from YOUR account to an account in his name only?

I just need more detail on order to understand what you are asking.

Please take your time and give me the full story and I'm sure I can help... or at least let you know what you should do next.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

No, he transferred (from his work place ) our jointly held 401K account. Of course, I have not had access to that account, The money he uses is at his discretion .My 401K was used, in part, to keep the household running while he had to maintain a residence in another state. He was required to move by his employer. As you may imagine, my monies are down to very little. Was it legal for him to transfer the 401K into his name only?

I have been both shocked and disappointed by this.

Many thanks foe your interest and follow up .


I'm so sorry Barbra, to be the one to have to tell you this ... but hopefully having all the facts will help you "see around some corners" in the future.

401(k) accounts, IRA accounts, Pensions, etc. (all those retirement type accounts called "qualified plans") are by law only allowed to be owned by one individual.

There is an owner (in the case of the workplace type plans such as 401(k)s and pensions, that is always the employee) and there is a beneficiary ... typically the spouse

THIS is something where you WOULD have some guarantees ... If a worker makes anyone other than their spouse the beneficiary of the plan, then the spouse much sign off and allow).

So, until such time as the EMPLOYEE takes the money out and decides to give to you by, say, putting into a jointly owned account, such as a joint bank account, those dollars are his...(just as the dollars in your 401(k) are only yours.

Hope this helps


I hope you'll rate my answer based on it thoroughness and accuracy, rather than any good news / bad news content ... Again my job is to be accurate, so that you can make informed decisions ... a positive rating is the only way I will get credit for my work.

HOWEVER, if you have more questions on this come back here, so you won't be charged for a second question.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Do not know if I was very good at asking my questions. My husband retired about 7 years ago and that is when he put the jointly held account in his name only. He did say the money was his and according to your answer, as surprising as it was, he was legally correct. He also puts his Social Security into a separate account which I was not even aware of until about a year after he retired. Mine has always gone into a joint account. Obviously, I was too trusting but witjh the severity of my medical problems, just assumed he would not desert me. I refuse to let this make me a bitter person. Again


I see now.

Either way, although his behavior was legal, it certainly lacked, ethically.

Jointly owned accounts are (in legal terms) " wholly & equally " owned by both parties. One does not need the other's consent to write checks, make withdrawals. (If he agreed not to, then obviously there is a moral issue there, a lacking of principle on his part, to say the least, ... but it's legal)

Here's an article on that:

But you are SO right ... (I hope this doesn't sound to cliché), but "what doesn't kill us only makes us stronger."

Those that seize opportunities in times like this, to learn, (both the law AND not to be TOO trusting, ... are the people who grow in strength AND sophistication.

TO quote another saying I think wise ... "It's not the hand we're dealt that makes us who we are, it's how we handle it. Those that handle what they've been dealt best, win.


Thanks SO much for the rating Barbara.

Please let me know if I can help further.

If you'd like to ask for ME again here, just click here: Lane

(You can also copy and paste that link for future reference)

Thanks again!