Does the 401k have go through probate? No, it does not unless you designate the estate as the beneficiary or the person who sets up the 401k for. 401k is set up by an employer and they have a contract provision that designates you where you designate the beneficiaries. The federal law says that you must designate your spouse as the beneficiary. If you wish to name someone else of the beneficiary of your 401k, you must have the spouse sign a waiver, upon the participant, 401k’s death. The beneficiary or designated beneficiary need only present a death certificate if the designated beneficiary dies before the participant. Then there’s a question you’d have to check with the employer and what does the plan say? Does it go to, a family member or does it go to the estate? And that’s all going to be controlled by the provisions of a 401k. The general answer to your question though is, no. A 401k does not have to go through probate, and that it’s payable directly to the beneficiary, much like a life insurance policy. If you have any questions, give me a call at (727) 847-2288.