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I want to know who the beneficiary was before my sister Marshall became the beneficiary of Rosa's 401K

This legal question related to trusts & estate planning in Ohio has been answered.

Location: Ohio  |  Law type: trusts & estate planning

My sister rose passed away in April 23 And I became the administrator. I found out she had A 401KAnd my younger sister is claiming it As the beneficiary Roses 401K. I told the attorney I want to know who the beneficiary was before Marsha came along and it's been weeks and nobody's getting back to me when the lawyer's office calls me they told me the account was closed and I said I was told the account was still active I don't know what to do I told the lawyer I want to contest it and he said I couldn't and I told him I know I can So now I don't know what to do. I'm thinking about writing 3 letters to the 401K companies that rose hadI'm only trying to find out who the other beneficiary was before Marsha Can you give me some adviceDo I mail them letters off and one letter to the judge

Legal Solution

The response provided below is specific to trusts & estate planning in the jurisdiction of Ohio. If the response is inadequate, please submit a detailed inquiry.

Beneficiary Dispute Over a Deceased's 401K in Ohio

Upon reviewing the information provided, it seems you are facing a complex situation surrounding the beneficiary status of your late sister Rosa's 401K plan. Your younger sister Marshall is currently listed as the beneficiary, but you are curious about the previous beneficiary. Here's a breakdown of your legal options and concerns in Ohio.

Relevant Ohio Statutes for Trusts & Estate Planning:

  • Ohio Revised Code § 5801.01-5999 - Ohio Trust Code
  • Ohio Revised Code § 2101-2131 - Probate Court Jurisdiction
  • Ohio Revised Code § 2105.01-6 - Succession: Line of Descent and Distribution
  • Ohio Revised Code § 2133.01-99 - Right of Disposition
  • Ohio Government Resources - Comprehensive source for state regulations and information

Possible Solutions:

  1. Direct Communication with the 401K Provider: Before drafting letters, try speaking directly with Rosa's 401K provider. This might offer quicker results and insights. They may also guide you on their policies about disclosing beneficiaries.
  2. Written Request: If direct communication doesn't yield results, send formal written requests to the 401K companies. Ensure you provide all necessary details to prove your identity and relationship to the deceased.
  3. Engage a Specialized Attorney: Consider seeking out a probate lawyer or one who specializes in trusts & estate planning. They can help you navigate the complexities and may be able to expedite the process. It might also be beneficial to compare lawyers in your area to ensure you find the right lawyer for your needs.
  4. Probate Court Intervention: If the attorney and 401K providers are not helpful, you might consider approaching the probate court in Ohio. They can sometimes assist in disputes over estates, assets, and beneficiaries.

Fee Estimates for Probate & Estate Planning in Ohio:

Service Average Cost
Consultation with a Probate Lawyer $200 - $500 per hour
Drafting Letters to 401K Providers $150 - $300 per letter
Probate Court Filing Fees $100 - $250
Legal Research on Beneficiary Status $500 - $1000
Full Legal Representation in Probate Court $2000 - $5000 (or more)

Note: These are just average estimates. Prices can vary based on the complexity of your case, the attorney's experience, and other factors.

Further Information:

It's essential to clarify the current situation. Are you sure that the account is active or closed? This might significantly influence your next steps. Also, you should consider if your goal is only to know the previous beneficiary or to contest the beneficiary status altogether.

Act Now!: Remember, the sooner you address these issues, the better. Delays might complicate the process further.

Questions for Consideration:

  1. Was there a will? If Rosa left a will, it might offer clarity on her wishes concerning the 401K.
  2. Was the 401K updated after significant life events? Knowing when the 401K was last updated can provide insight into Rosa's intentions.
  3. Are there other family members who might have information? Sometimes, other family members or close friends might be aware of discussions or decisions concerning assets.

Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. Can I contest a 401K beneficiary designation in Ohio?
    Yes, under certain circumstances. However, it's essential to have valid legal grounds and evidence.

  2. How long does the process to change or contest a beneficiary designation take?
    It varies. Simple changes can take a few weeks, while contests might take several months or longer, especially if it goes to court.

  3. If the 401K account is closed, do I have any rights?
    If the funds were already disbursed to the listed beneficiary, it becomes more complex. However, if there's evidence of wrongdoing or mistakes, there may be recourse.

  4. Can the Probate Court override a beneficiary designation?
    Typically, beneficiary designations on accounts like 401Ks bypass probate. However, in cases of fraud, undue influence, or other legal concerns, the court might get involved.

  5. How can I protect my interests and ensure Rosa's wishes are honored?
    Hire a qualified attorney, gather all relevant documentation, and be proactive in seeking clarity and resolution.

If you need more personalized advice, consider reaching out to a legal expert to ask a free legal question.


This content is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney-client relationship. It's always recommended to consult with a local attorney about your specific situation.

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Legal question "I want to know who the beneficiary was before my sister Marshall became the beneficiary of Rosa's 401K" has been changed 8 months 2 weeks ago. Demonstrate your legal skills and willingness to help and answer right now! Issue is related to the location of Ohio & area of law: trusts & estate planning.
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