If my uncle has a Will listing me as his a beneificary but on his 401k he has no beneificary listed, am I entitled to the 401k proceeds?

Asked on January 15, 2013 under Estate Planning, Michigan


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The proceeds of a 401k, like for example the proceeds from a life insurance policy, pass outside of the probate estate. The beneficiaries collect directly. In other words, one generally has nohing to do with the other. That is unless, a 401k does not name a beneficiary. In such case, the proceeds do become part of the deceased's estate. Specifically, such proceeds woud pass via the "residiuary clause" of the Will. This is the clause that reads something like, "All the rest, rsidue and remainder of my estate...". Therefore who ever is listed as the beneficiary of the residuary estate collects. If you are the sole benefciary in the Will, then that would be to you.

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