Are 529 plans marital property?

Are 529 plans marital property?

A 529 plan is a marital asset. So, the college savings account can be listed along with other marital property for decision-making considerations during the divorce process. Unlike a marital home that may have both spouses’ names on the deed, a 529 savings plan has only one name on the account.

Who is the owner of a 529 plan account?

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Generally, the same person who contributed the money controls the Section 529 account. This doesn’t have to be the case, however. Someone else, such as a grandparent, could make a donation but name the child’s parent as the account owner, or a parent could establish the account and allow others to contribute to it.

Can you change owners of a 529 plan?

Yes, individual 529 education savings plan accounts can be transferred from one beneficiary to another eligible member of the family or rolled over into other 529 accounts for the same beneficiary or an eligible family member. Rollovers from a 529 plan to retirement plans (such as an IRA) are not allowed.

Can a child be the owner of a 529 plan?

A custodial 529 plan account is a 529 plan owned by a minor child, who is also the named beneficiary on the account. Custodial 529 plan accounts offer many of the same benefits as a traditional 529 plan account, but there are also some important differences.

Is it better for a parent or grandparent to own a 529 plan?

— Instead of opening a 529 themselves, grandparents can contribute to a parent-owned 529 plan, which reduces eligibility for need-based financial aid only up to 5.64 percent of the net worth of the assets. — Grandparents can open an account and reap any state tax deductions for themselves.

What happens to 529 if child doesn’t go to college?

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Expanded 529 plan qualified expenses give families more flexibility when a child doesn’t go to college. If the money is used for anything outside of the qualified education expenses, the family must pay a tax penalty of 10% on the plan’s earnings.

Why a 529 plan is a bad idea?

A 529 plan could mean less financial aid. The largest drawback to a 529 plan is that colleges consider it when deciding on financial aid. This means your child could receive less financial aid than you might otherwise need.

Are 529 accounts worth it?

529 plans typically offer you unsurpassed tax breaks. Earnings in a 529 plan grow tax-free and are not taxed when they’re withdrawn. This means that however much your money grows in a 529, you’ll never have to pay taxes on it. However, you do not get to deduct your contributions on your federal income tax return.

Can a 529 plan lose money?

You don’t lose unused money in a 529 plan. The money can still be used for post-secondary education, for another beneficiary who is a qualified family member such as younger siblings, nieces, nephews, or grandchildren, or even for yourself.

What’s better than a 529 plan?

A 529 savings plan is one of the best ways to save for a child’s college education, but there are alternatives. Custodial UGMA and UTMA accounts can be used for purposes other than education. Roth IRAs have tax advantages similar to 529 plans and they don’t count as assets for financial aid purposes.

What are the disadvantages of 529 plan?

Disadvantages of using a 529 plan to save for college529 plan funds must be spent on qualified expenses to avoid tax and penalty. Non-qualified distributions are subject to income tax and a 10% penalty on the earnings portion of the distribution. 529 plans owned by a third-party can hurt financial aid eligibility.

Is a 529 better than a savings account?

529 plans offer a greater return on investment along with the greater complexity and greater risk of loss. Other important benefits of 529 plans include better financial aid and tax treatment of the savings.

How much should I have in a 529?

Choosing a 529 plan could mean a much lower monthly contribution since the money grows over time. With a 529 plan, solid monthly contribution amounts for a child born in 2017 would be about $165 for a public in-state school, $260 for public out-of-state, or $325 for a private university.

What is the best account for college savings?

But 529s and ESAs are generally considered better choices for college savings because of their tax advantages. There are two types of tax-advantaged college savings plans designed to help parents finance education: 529 Plans and Education Savings Accounts (also known as ESAs or Coverdell accounts).

How much can you withdraw from 529 per year?

Qualified 529 plan expenses also include up to $10,000 per year in K-12 tuition expenses. It’s up to the 529 plan account owner to calculate the amount of the tax-free distribution and how they want to receive the funds. Withdrawal requests can usually be made on the 529 plan’s website, by telephone or by mail.

Can 529 money be used for food?

Money from a 529 account can be used for major post-secondary education costs such as: Required tuition, fees, books, supplies and equipment. Certain room and board expenses, which may include food purchased directly through the college or university (for the stipulations of off-campus living — see below)

Can you pay rent with 529 funds?

Can he use the 529 plan to pay for his portion of the rent, food and utilities? Yes, but not necessarily the full cost. As long as your son is enrolled at least half-time in a degree program, room and board qualify as eligible expenses to be covered by tax-free withdrawals from the 529 plan.

Can I use my 529 to buy a laptop?

Technology Items – You can use a 529 plan to cover technological needs such as computers, printers, laptops and even internet service. These items must be used by the plan beneficiary while enrolled in college.

Do I need receipts for 529 expenses?

You don’t need to provide the 529 plan with evidence that you will be using the money for eligible expenses, but you do need to keep the receipts, canceled checks and other paperwork in your tax records (see When to Toss Tax Records for more information), in case the IRS later asks for evidence that the money was used …

What can I do with leftover 529 money?

6 ways to spend leftover 529 plan moneyTransfer the 529 plan funds to another beneficiary. Save the 529 plan funds for your child’s future educational needs. Use the money to make student loan payments. Save the 529 plan for a grandchild. Take advantage of penalty-free scholarship withdrawals.