Can I file a small estate proceeding if the decedent had more than $50,000 in an 401(k), individual retirement account (IRA) or retirement and employee benefit plans?

Answer

If the decedent designated a beneficiary for the 401(k) and it passed directly to designated beneficiary, it did not become part of the estate and is not included in the $50,000 limit for small estates. If the estate was named the beneficiary of the 401(k) then it would be an estate asset.  Contact the benefit administrator to find out who was named the beneficiary.

Further reading on this topic:

  • 5 Warren's Heaton on Surrogate's Court Practice § 62.06 (4) -- Collecting Personal Property of Decedent; Collection of Decedent's Retirement and Employee Benefit Plans
  • Last Updated May 06, 2024
  • Views 6
  • Answered By Librarian 5

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