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Can I leave my 401(k) to my minor children when I die?

Although you are technically allowed to name a minor child as the beneficiary of your 401(k), IRA, or other employment-sponsored retirement account, it’s not necessarily a good idea. Minor children cannot inherit the account until they reach the age of majority (the age a child legally becomes an adult)—which can be as old as 21 in some states. If a minor is listed as the beneficiary, upon your death your retirement account would be distributed to a court-appointed custodian, who will be in charge of managing the funds (usually for a fee) until they reach the age of majority. If you want your child to inherit your retirement account, you should set up a trust to receive those assets instead. You can then name a trustee to manage the account until your child comes of age. By doing so, you get to choose not only who would manage your child’s money, but within the trust’s terms, you can stipulate how and when the account’s funds should be distributed and used, which can help funds from being lost or squandered.

My firm and I can help you create a trust to hold your 401(k) for your minor children to ensure your heirs get the maximum benefit from your retirement savings. Contact us today to schedule a Legacy Planning Session so that we can help you:

  • Choose the Right Guardians for Your Kids,

  • Get Your Financial Affairs in Order and Keep it That Way,

  • Ensure Your Kids (& Spouse) Are Prepared for the Unexpected,

  • Discover How To Legally Avoid ALL Estate Taxes & Keep Your Family Out of Court,

  • Learn the Secret to Protecting Your Kids’ Inheritance From Lawsuits and Divorce, and

  • Discover How to Leave Your Loved Ones a Gift Far Greater Than All the Money in the World!


This article is a service of The Ambitious Legacy Firm. We do not just draft documents; we ensure you make informed and empowered decisions about life and death, for yourself and the people you love. That's why we offer a Legacy Planning Session, during which you will get more financially organized than you’ve ever been before and make all the best choices for the people you love. You can begin by using the link below to schedule a call with our Client Services Director, who will be able to guide you on scheduling your Legacy Planning Session, or by emailing us at Mention this article when you reach out to us to find out how to get this $750 session at no charge.



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