Yes, you may designate someone other than your spouse as the beneficiary of your 401k without your spouse’s consent.  Essentially, anyone can be designated as the beneficiary of your 401k whom you designate.  If your spouse is listed as beneficiary and you are interested in changing this to someone else, such as your children, this can be accomplished easily by an attorney.

Perhaps you would like to make the beneficiary of your 401k a trust in the names of your children, to protect the proceeds from your spouse.  There are also tax consequences to consider.  Many options exist, and an experienced attorney can educate you on these options and help you decide the best way to proceed.

If you have any questions regarding trusts or estate planning in Connecticut, please contact Joseph C. Maya, Esq. at (203) 221-3100 or e-mail him directly at