Re: inheritance of American 401k (superannuation)

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RM 89

Active Member
16 July 2019

I am not sure if this place is the right place to ask my question, however I greatly appreciate any advice.
My husband worked for an American company , and passed away last year. Before he retired in2018, I signed as a beneficiary of his 401k(a pension scheme) and our daughter as a sole beneficiary in case of my passing.
His brother nominated himself as a power of attorney / a guardian of the will when my husband was diagnosed with a terminal illness, and took over the access of his bank account to sort out his assets.
We were legally married but lived separately until his death. This was the reason that I didn't have access to my husband's bank account. Althogh my daughter had access to his bank account as he was paying the maintenance to us. Just to note, we had a very amicable relationship even though we were separated , and he left his 401k to me.

When he passed away in March 2020, his brother told me not to contact anyone so as his bank account can be active and he can cash out my husband's investments etc into the account and distribute these to my daughter and his partner's kids.

14 months after his death, I was told to sort out the 401k by myself ; so I contacted the 401k company to notify his passing. The company continued to pay his monthly payment/ superannuation during this time.

Sorry for my long story, my core question is what I should do or am I entitled for the amount of the super annuation(401k) paid for 14 months? My daughter said the money in the bank account has been transferred somewhere already. It seems he used this to pay lawyers and other costs, but it's not confirmed. Is this also leagal?

Thank you.