Can a marital agreement (like a pre- or post-nup) override a spouses right to be a retirement plan beneficiary? The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit recently said no in one specific case, at least. The ruling illustrates that overriding spousal rights to a clients retirement plan may be more difficult than expected.
For advisors, this is a key point to discuss with married clients who wish to leave their employer-sponsored retirement account to a non-spouse. Such clients should proceed carefully, making sure they comply with the plans procedure for a proper spousal waiver.
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