Contact the Plan Administer of the 401k plan and also contact the life insurance companies and be prepared to present death certificates to this entities so that they can process the funds to the appropriate beneficiary. That is normally a job for the Personal Representative of your father’s estate.
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My comments are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship, are not confidential, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Proper legal advice can only be given by an attorney who agrees to represent you, who reviews the facts of your specific case, who does not have a conflict of interest preventing the representation, and who is licensed as an attorney in the state where the law applies.
Dan W. Armstrong, Attorney
Law Offices of Dan W. Armstrong, P.A.
822 A1A North, Suite 303
Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082
(O) 904.280.0058, (F) 904.280.0109
You have received good advice. The use of death certificates that are given to the appropriate companies (administrator of the qualified retirement plan and the life insurance company) is a good start. They will usually tell you if the decedent had any asset with the company and whether or not you are a named beneficiary on those types of accounts or policies.
If you have difficulty in obtaining information from the companies (even with the death certificate), I have found that the use of a private investigator can greatly aid in the asset search. In some cases we would have never known about several accounts except for the work that a private investigator did. If any assets are located then you may want to hire an attorney to contact the stepmother and/or her attorney to see if any of those assets name you as a beneficiary or if the will and/or other estate documents indicate that you should receive some of those assets.