As a surviving son, am I supposed to get all copies of my last dying parent, my dad, sent to me automatically? - AgingCare.com

As a surviving son, am I supposed to get all copies of my last dying parent, my dad, sent to me automatically?

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My step mom died unexpectedly in 2014 of stroke complications. My father started going downhill physically. He died in October of 2016. My Brother informed my that as soon as my step mom died I was Immediately taken out of a 2014 will inloving the sales of the houes and all goods, including furniture, and jewelry to go to my brother, yet no explanation. He mentioned verbally that he thought me, the younger son would blow through all that money, not realizing it's histrical and famil value. My older brother then let me know that I was still on yet another will, for Dad's retirement and 401k or both. This he expressed to me verbally. I've asked for copies of the wills, being that I'm his son and he's now passed. Do I have any right to obtain these documents or a copy of them at anytime soon. 11/17/2016

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I agree with what Pam said, with one proviso. There is not always a named beneficiary for a 401(k) or other retirement plan with survivor benefits. Sometime, especially in the case where the former employee dies not long after his spouse, the employee may not have realized the need to name a new beneficiary or may be too ill to do it. There will generally be a "default" beneficiary list set up for situations where there's no named beneficiary or the named beneficiary has died before the employee. Usually the surviving children are at the top of the default beneficiary list. However, the employer may not have the names or addresses or contact information for the family members and may have to wait for the family to contact them with the information. That's why I told the OP to call the employer's HR department and provide his information as surviving son.
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No you do not get copies, the Executor is now in charge of everything going through probate. The 401K will have a named beneficiary (so not part of probate) and try to contact them. Many times the person has moved several times and the address on file is incorrect. If there is a Trust, it is not part of probate either, e.g. a parent with life tenancy in a house that is part of a living trust.
As for probate, it is neither quick nor easy. The Executor has to gather up all the financial information to even begin the probate in surrogate's court. The judge takes weeks or months to issue a court order. Then the Executor has to observe a "waiting period", in Florida that could be 3 months or more. This is to give time for creditors to present their bills to the estate.
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I agree with what cwillie said above about your father's will. The retirement and 401(k) are different, though.

Benefits under pensions and 401(k)'s generally do not pass under a decedent's will and aren't subject to probate. Generally they are paid directly to beneficiaries by the trustees of the pension plan or 401(k). If you are listed as a beneficiary, the trustees should be contacting you to arrange your payments. Generally, the human resources department at the employer will keep the records of beneficiary designations under the employer's retirement and 401(k) plans. If you haven't heard anything, you should contact the human resources department at your late father's employer(s), identify yourself as his son, and ask about the payout of his pension benefits and 401(k). Make sure they have your address and contact information in their files so they can contact you. Good luck!
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Sorry, I had a hard time following that.
It is the responsibility of the Executor of the Will to contact any beneficiaries, those not named have no right to see the Will. BUT, when the Will is probated it is filed and recorded and is available to the public. You will need to check the court where the Will was probated to find out how to see what was filed.
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