I am the executor of my friends estate and was beneficiary of all assets when she passed
. Due to oversight she never named a beneficiary on her 401 account . This account has since been transferred to the"Estate of {deceased} with me as executor. Can I still withdraw funds if I need to? If I die what happens to account ? Do I need an atty to have this changed in my name even though the estate is closed? thank you for your kind assistance in this matter.

Terry Says:

I think you need to get an attorney who is familiar with the estate laws of your state.   It’s a shame she did not name you beneficiary, as you would have been able to roll the money into an IRA, and subject to certain withdrawal rules, kept the balance of the account growing.  Now it just becomes part of her overall estate.  As long is the total estate is not well over $5 million, there are no estate taxes due.  But the estate (including the 40l(k) money) must now pass through probate — the process of legally changing title to assets and distributing them to estate beneficiaries.  You need an attorney to do that — take the estate through probate court.  And that will involve a fee.  So get good advice by finding an attorney though your state bar association — or search at www.NAELA.org — the national academy of elder law attorneys, and use their search tool by location.   Then, ask the same attorney to draw up an estate plan for YOU!!

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