A parent designated her children as the beneficiaries of her 401Ks. There were no surviving spouses. The Personal Representative took the 401K assets and moved them to an unknown account and is unwilling to tell the beneficiaries where the money is or how much money they inherited.
What are the legal obligations of the personal representative? How and when do these non probate assets have to be distributed to the designated beneficiaries?
Say what? The Personal Representative does NOT have the authority to empty the 401k Account. Named beneficiaries only need to contact the 401 Plan Administrator, and fill out forms, to have the funds transferred into his/her name.
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It appears to me that either your facts are not 100% or the financial company has done something wrong. A Personal Representative does not have the authority to control a 401(k) account if there is a beneficiary named. Maybe the parent intended to name her children as beneficiaries but didn't get around to it? If this asset is really non-probate (because a bene, has been named) then the Personal Representative has no control over it. Since the children are also likely devisees/heirs of her probate estate I recommend that they hire an attorney to protect their interests and investigate the facts.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this answer is based on Oregon law and is subject to change. It should be used for general purposes only and should not be construed as specific legal advice by Fitzwater Meyer Hollis & Marmion, LLP, or its attorneys. Neither this answer nor use of its information creates an attorney-client relationship. If you have specific legal questions, consult with your own attorney or call us for an appointment.
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