A relative passed away without naming a beneficiary for her 401k. I am the representative of the estate and one of two heirs. The 401k Administrator says the default beneficiary is spouse and then estate. Since there is no spouse the estate is the beneficiary. It looks like the only option is to set up an account in the name of the claimant, which is the estate. I could then distribute the assets to the heirs over five years. A couple of questions about this: 1) Can these distributions be rolled over into an inherited Roth IRA? 2) If the distributions are made over a period of 5 years does the estate need to remain open during the entire 5 years? It sounds like any distributions would have to be made to an estate bank account and then distributed to the heirs. Any guidance on this would be appreciated, Thank you!
The way to proceed is dependent upon the value of the estate, but not only the 401(k). The best way to be sure that the estate is administered correctly is to sit down with an attorney and let him/her evaluate the situation for you and explain which method is best and how to get it done. Best of luck.
You need to consult with an attorney about the possible options available to you.
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