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  1. #1
    shelbybailey Guest

    Husband dies, has 401k and life insurance, no will-Who is entitled?

    What is the name of your state?What is the name of your state? TN

    My sister's husband committed suicide this week and I am trying to help her out with several things.

    First, they filed for divorce about a month ago, but moved back into together about a week after and have been living together since. They left several messages with attorney to stop process and she found out that it has not yet been signed by a judge. Is she still legally married? Or considered his "wife" at the time of his death?

    Onto the financial part of it: HE HAS NO WILL! He has a lgroup life insurance policy($96,000) through his company and there is no beneficiary named. He also has a 401k($31,000) with no beneficiary named either, but we have been told by the company that this defaults to my sister. He does have about $40,000-$50,000 in credit card debt from a previous marriage. He also has a five year old daughter from that marriage as well.

    Here are my questions:

    1. Who is entitled to this life insurance policy? Does it automatically go into his "estate" to pay his debts? If so, is she then entitled to it or does she split it with the daughter?

    2. What about the 401k? Will that go into his "estate" as well? And if so, how will that be divided?

    3. Can she be the executor of the "estate"?

    4. Are any other family members entitled to anything from the estate? Do other family members usually when these type of cases if they sue for a part?

    Thank you for your time.
  2. #2
    Shay-Pari'e is offline Senior Member
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    [QUOTE=shelbybailey]What is the name of your state?What is the name of your state? TN

    My sister's husband committed suicide this week and I am trying to help her out with several things.

    First, they filed for divorce about a month ago, but moved back into together about a week after and have been living together since. They left several messages with attorney to stop process and she found out that it has not yet been signed by a judge. Is she still legally married? They are still legally married.


    Or considered his "wife" at the time of his death? Yes

    Onto the financial part of it: HE HAS NO WILL! He has a lgroup life insurance policy($96,000) through his company and there is no beneficiary named. He also has a 401k($31,000) with no beneficiary named either, but we have been told by the company that this defaults to my sister. It will go into probate since there is no named beneficiary.

  3. #3
    lwpat is offline Senior Member
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    Can she be the executor of the "estate"?
    Yes. She needs to take the death certificate to the probate court and file to be named as executor.

    Are any other family members entitled to anything from the estate? Do other family members usually when these type of cases if they sue for a part?
    The clerk at the probate court can give you a copy of the law and explain how to administer the estate. The daughter will be entitled to a share.
  4. #4
    skp216 is offline Junior Member
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    [QUOTE=--PARIDISE--]
    Quote Originally Posted by shelbybailey
    What is the name of your state?What is the name of your state? TN

    My sister's husband committed suicide this week and I am trying to help her out with several things.

    First, they filed for divorce about a month ago, but moved back into together about a week after and have been living together since. They left several messages with attorney to stop process and she found out that it has not yet been signed by a judge. Is she still legally married? They are still legally married.


    Or considered his "wife" at the time of his death? Yes

    Onto the financial part of it: HE HAS NO WILL! He has a lgroup life insurance policy($96,000) through his company and there is no beneficiary named. He also has a 401k($31,000) with no beneficiary named either, but we have been told by the company that this defaults to my sister. It will go into probate since there is no named beneficiary.


    A 401K which is considered an ERISA fund will go to the wife of the deceased as long as she was married to him for at least 9-12 months. I can't remember "exactly" how long, but at least a year. I went through this with my late husband. The wife, your sister, is entitled to the 401K.

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