Education Planning – FAQs

[accordions] FAQs
[accordion title=”529 plan basics”]
Do 529 plans include both state savings plans and prepaid tuition plans?
How long have 529 plans been around?
How many states currently have 529 plans?
What can you tell me about employer-sponsored 529 plans?
What is the Private/Independent 529 Plan?
What’s the difference between state savings plans and prepaid tuition plans?
Who can legally offer 529 plans?
Why are these plans referred to as “529” plans?
[accordion title=”529 plan expenses and fees”]
Do 529 plan expenses vary among states?
What expenses and fees are generally associated with 529 plans?
[accordion title=”529 plans and financial aid”]
How will my 529 account be treated for financial aid purposes?
I opened a state savings plan account for my grandchild many years ago, and he’s now filling out financial aid applications. Do his parents need to list the value of the account in their assets, or does my grandchild list the value of the account as his asset?
[accordion title=”529 plans vs. other ways to save for college”]
How does a 529 plan compare with a Coverdell education savings account?
How does a 529 plan compare with an UGMA/UTMA custodial account in my child’s name?
How does a 529 plan compare with investing in a mutual fund in my name?
How does a 529 plan compare with using U.S. savings bonds for college expenses?
[accordion title=”529 plans: Changing plans (rollover)”]
Can I move funds from my Coverdell education savings account to a 529 plan?
Can I roll over my existing 529 account to another state’s 529 plan without penalty?
Does it make sense to cash in my prepaid tuition plan and contribute the money to a state savings plan instead?
[accordion title=”529 plans: Choosing or changing a beneficiary or account owner”]
Can a 529 account have more than one beneficiary?
Can I change the beneficiary of a 529 account?
Can I open a 529 account and name myself as beneficiary?
Is there an age limit on who can be a beneficiary of a 529 plan?
Under what circumstances can the account owner of a 529 plan be changed?
Who can be a beneficiary of a 529 plan?
[accordion title=”529 plans: Death of account owner or beneficiary”]
If I am the account owner when I die, will the value of my 529 account be included in my estate?
What happens if I open a 529 account for my child and then I die–who would control the account?
What happens if the beneficiary of the 529 account dies?
[accordion title=”529 plans: Making contributions”]
Can contributions to a 529 plan be directly debited from my checking account?
Can I contribute my own stocks and bonds to the 529 account I’ve set up for my child?
Can I make contributions to a 529 account and a Coverdell education savings account in the same year for the same beneficiary?
Can I transfer my child’s UGMA/UTMA custodial account to a 529 plan?
How much can I invest in a 529 plan?
How often can I make contributions to my child’s 529 account?
I’m putting money into a 529 plan for my grandchild. But are the 529 assets subject to Medicaid spend-down requirements?
Should I invest a lump sum, or is there a way to use dollar cost averaging when investing in a state savings plan?

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