Welcome! Thank you for your question.
You would NOT need Letters Testamentary if there is a beneficiary designation on the 501k account. Assets with beneficiary designations pass outside the probate system and directly to the designated beneficiary.
However, with that said, since the named beneficiary is a minor you are going to have to go to the probate court (where you live) and get the court to establish you as either the guardian of your son's estate or request authorization to place the funds in a court designated blocked account. Both of these will last until your son is 18. Here are your options:
- If the donated property exceeds $5,000 and the child has no guardian of the estate, a court may authorize that the money be deposited in a blocked account or may authorize the purchase of a single-premium deferred annuity. Prob C §3413(a).
- A court-supervised guardianship of the child's estate could be established to handle the child's property. Prob C § 1510.
Both of these would have to be done through the probate court where you live with your son.
I cannot provide you with legal advise. I can provide you with information about the law related to your question. My answer, and any information that you can find online, should not take the place of having a detailed consultation with a lawyer in your area to advise you regarding your specific issues.
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