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AP dies while qualification in progress


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H & W were divorced on July 16, 2019. W was awarded 1/2 of Hs cash balance pension and 401(k) plans. I was retained by the attorneys to draft the DROs. I did so and submitted them to the plan administrator for preapproval on October 9, 2019. Minor changes were requested, made and resubmitted. Preapproval letters were issued on November 25 and December 9. The court approved the QDROs and they were submitted to the PA for processing. The PA now wants another minor change in both QDROs. Normally, wouldn't be a problem, except for resubmitting them to the court, which PA requires. 

I just learned that the AP died on November 25, so her signature is not available for the revised QDROs. My thought is to made the requested change but keep the QDROs otherwise as drafted. The only form modification would be to have the personal representative of the AP's estate sign in the place of the AP. Does this sound like a reasonable solution?

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If the question is what proposed order (whether with or without a signature showing a litigant's acceptance or non-objection) would be adopted by the domestic-relations court, don't you want that guidance from the attorney who engaged you?

Peter Gulia PC

Fiduciary Guidance Counsel

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

215-732-1552

Peter@FiduciaryGuidanceCounsel.com

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20 hours ago, Thornton said:

H & W were divorced on July 16, 2019. W was awarded 1/2 of Hs cash balance pension and 401(k) plans. I was retained by the attorneys to draft the DROs. I did so and submitted them to the plan administrator for preapproval on October 9, 2019. Minor changes were requested, made and resubmitted. Preapproval letters were issued on November 25 and December 9. The court approved the QDROs and they were submitted to the PA for processing. The PA now wants another minor change in both QDROs. Normally, wouldn't be a problem, except for resubmitting them to the court, which PA requires. 

I just learned that the AP died on November 25, so her signature is not available for the revised QDROs. My thought is to made the requested change but keep the QDROs otherwise as drafted. The only form modification would be to have the personal representative of the AP's estate sign in the place of the AP. Does this sound like a reasonable solution?

Reminder: there is no (ERISA) legal requirement that the participant's agree to the order (or sign it).  In any case, if the judge wants a signature (which might be the case), then your solution sounds just fine since it has no legal effect on the processing under ERISA.  

Lawrence C. Starr, FLMI, CLU, CEBS, CPC, ChFC, EA, ATA, QPFC
President
Qualified Plan Consultants, Inc.
46 Daggett Drive
West Springfield, MA 01089
413-736-2066
larrystarr@qpc-inc.com

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