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This issue should be of central concern to the attorney representing a potential alternate payee under a QDRO. A QDRO is not a QDRO until a certified executed copy is received and approved by the Plan Administrator. If the participant dies before a certified copy of the QDRO has been reviewed and approved by the Plan Administrator, the alternate payee MAY not be entitled to any portion of the participant's survivor benefits. This is true even if the Plan Administrator has already pre-approved a draft Order. In some cases, it is in the best interest of your client to get your QDRO signed by the judge before submitting it to the Plan Administrator for review.