If there is a beneficiary listed, does the money go to the estate?

Q: What are my rights as beneficiary on deceased brother beneficiary designation form? My brother died without a will, but I am listed as one of his beneficiary on his employment form, the lawyers are stating that this goes money goes into the estate and is to be shared by everyone, is this correct? There are stock certificates, life insurance etc. that he marked and the lawyers won’t hand over the original certificates so that we can transfer them to our names. I am also one of the co-administrators. Please answer asap. Thank You.

A: I really would need to examine the documents to be certain with my advice. However, generally, if you are listed as a beneficiary on employee benefits like 401 Ks or pension or insurance, that is your money and not estate money. Generally, if you are a beneficiary, the company will prefer to talk to you and will not want to deal with the estate attorney. Call the company and ask if you are the beneficiary. They won’t lie to you. As to the other problems, estate issues, I am not sure why you are having a problem with the attorney as the executor/administrator generally can hire and fire an attorney for the estate. Maybe this is perhaps because you are not getting along with the other attorney. I highly advise you to see an independent lawyer versed in estate matters.

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