If I am beneficiary of my life partner’s 401(k), pension and life insurance, do I have to include the above 3 items among their assets when I probate their Will?

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If I am beneficiary of my life partner’s 401(k), pension and life insurance, do I have to include the above 3 items among their assets when I probate their Will?

Asked on May 6, 2013 under Estate Planning, New Jersey

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Generally speaking, any of those type of assets that have designated beneficiaries pass "outside the Will" and are not included in the gross value of the estate for probate purposes but some states ask that they be listed as assets in the probate petition just to have complete inventory.  I would double check with the clerk (who can not give legal advice but can be very helpful as to sources) or an attorney in your area.  Good luck.


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