Can you put a lean on a 401k.in the state of iowa

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Can you put a lean on a 401k.in the state of iowa

Would like to put a lien on my
sisters 401k for failure 2 give
me my inheritance money from my
mom and dad.

Asked on May 15, 2018 under Estate Planning, Alaska

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Federal law protects 401(k) plans from liens, garnishment, and attachments for all but federal (i.e. IRS) tax liens; you cannot collect from her this way. You can of course simply sue her for the money you believe she wrongly withheld from you: sue her and also name your parent's estate in the lawsuit and also the executor/personal representative (if she is not that person). If you can prove that you should have received money (e.g. either under the terms of the will or under the rules for "intestate succession" if there was no will), then you can get a judgment ordering the estate (if it still exists and has not been wrapped up), your sister, and/or the executor/personal representative (i.e. the persons responsible for this happening) to pay you what you should have received. Once you have that judgment, if you are still not paid, there are ways you can pursue payment, such as through wage garnishment or  a lien on real estate--but a lien on a 401(k) is not, unfortunately, an option.


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