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Ask rvlaw Your Own Question
rvlaw, Lawyer (JD)
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 8386
Experience:  NYC Trial Atty. 30 yrs.- pers. inj., contracts, real estate, criminal, estates, matrimonial.
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Should I sign off on my husbands retirement ...

Resolved Question:

Should I sign off on my husband''s retirement benefits if he takes it as a lump sum?   He will be rolling it into IRA''s that they tell us can only be put in his name with me as beneficiary. What if he would suddenly decide to take it all out and hide it or spend it? Would I have any protection?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  rvlaw replied 9 years ago.


Why are you being asked to do this? Is there a divorce?


Customer: replied 9 years ago.
No--he's taking it as a cash settlement. To divert taxes (as he's still working), he's rolling it over to tax protected IRA's.
Expert:  rvlaw replied 9 years ago.

Unfortunately you cannot control what he does with it or otherwise make sure that you are provided for in case he dies. You can only exercise whatever options are available to you regarding the retirement benefits and you should see a tax advisor on that.

Regarding death benefits, if he has a will and does not leave you a certain amount, the courts look to all the assets left to you to see if you have a "right of election" to take more than the will gives you. For instance, the will could leave you very little, but you might inherit a joint house worth 2 million and be the beneficiary of a 5 million dollar life insurance policy and the court will say you have been adequately provide for by virtue of those 2 assets that pass by operation of law to you outside the will.


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Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Is there any way to prevent him going and cashing out the whole IRA's, spending it without my consent or approval?
Expert:  rvlaw replied 9 years ago.

Yes. Make him put your name on them as owner in addition to his. That's between you and him.


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