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ScottyMacEsq
ScottyMacEsq, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 16112
Experience:  Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney
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My 83 year old divorced mother was diagnosed with liver cancer

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My 83 year old divorced mother was diagnosed with liver cancer in March 2013. She lives in Kansas. A few weeks ago the oncologist told us she has weeks to months to live. She has medical expenses that she is paying over time (I don't know the outstanding total balance) and has no assets other than personal items and a 401k of approximately $33,000 that she received when she and my father divorced. She doesn't own a home or other property. My younger brother is the beneficiary of the 401k. Our question is what happens to the $33,000 after my mother dies? Does the law in Kansas require that the money be used to pay outstanding debt after her death?

ScottyMacEsq :

Thank you for using JustAnswer. I am researching your issue and will respond shortly.

ScottyMacEsq :

Funds payable to beneficiaries from life insurance, 401ks, IRAs, and POD accounts are the property of the beneficiaries. Thus even if the decedent had $100,000 in medical bills owed at the time of his or her death, the $100,000 insurance policy payable to the beneficiaries goes directly to the beneficiary. The decedent’s creditors have no claim against the $100,000.

ScottyMacEsq :

(or 33k in your situation)

ScottyMacEsq :

The key is to make certain that the 401k company has the beneficiary designation on file. I cannot tell you how many times a beneficiary designation form was filled out, but somehow lost in the process.

ScottyMacEsq :

If that happens, and there's no beneficiary on file, or a deceased beneficiary, then the funds go to the estate, where a creditor can get to them.

ScottyMacEsq :

Hope that clears things up a bit. If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX luck to you!

Customer:

Thanks very much, Scotty. We'll make sure the beneficiary information is on file.

ScottyMacEsq :

My pleasure.If you have any other questions, please let me know. If not, and you have not yet, please rate my answer AND press the "submit" button, if applicable. Please note that I don't get any credit for my answer unless and until you rate it a 3, 4, 5 (good or better). Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX good luck to you!

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