This excerpt taken from the EQR 10-K filed Mar 8, 2006.
unless the Plan Administrator elects, in its sole discretion, to pay out a Participants Account balance in a single lump sum as soon as practicable following the date of termination.
(b) A Participant may designate a beneficiary by so noticing the Plan Administrator in writing, at any time before Participants death, on a form prescribed by the Plan Administrator for that purpose. A Participant may revoke any beneficiary designation or designate a new beneficiary at any time without the consent of a beneficiary or any other person. If no beneficiary is designated or no designated beneficiary survives the Participant, payment shall be made to the Participants surviving spouse, or, if none, to the Participants issue per stirpes, in a single payment. If no spouse or issue survives the Participant, payment shall be made in a single lump sum to the Participants estate.