What happens to my retirement account after I die if I have not designated a beneficiary?

When you die, if you have not designated a beneficiary or if no named beneficiary survives you, the plan(s) provides who your beneficiary will be:

Spouse: If you are married, your spouse is automatically the sole primary beneficiary of your retirement income under most plans. If you change your marital status, please notify GuideStone. If you marry after making a beneficiary designation, your marriage may automatically invalidate the prior beneficiary designation under the plan, and your spouse may automatically be your primary beneficiary. This rule applies until you execute a new beneficiary designation. For most plans, your spouse must consent if you name someone else as a primary beneficiary.

Minors: GuideStone cannot make payments directly to a minor. Generally, a probate court would have to appoint a guardian to receive and administer the payments for the minor.

Trusts: If you want to designate a trust as beneficiary, please contact your attorney for appropriate language. GuideStone will not be obligated to inquire into the terms of the trust agreement, will not be charged with knowledge of its terms and is fully discharged of all liability regarding payment to the trustee. Designation of a trust as beneficiary may limit your payment options.

Organizations: If you designate your employer as beneficiary, you must designate a specific fund of the employer, such as a building fund. If you designate a nonprofit organization as beneficiary, you must provide the full legal name and address of the nonprofit organization. Designation of an organization as beneficiary may limit your payment options.

Estate: The wording to designate your estate as beneficiary is “my estate” or “the estate of (your name).” Designation of your estate as beneficiary may limit your payment options.

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