Can 529 plans be transferred to another child?

Q. If my child gets a scholarship or (yikes) doesn’t go to college, can I transfer the 529 money saved up for her education to one of my other kids?

Adam answers:


This is known as a change to the beneficiary. Even though you may have established a 529 in one child’s name, that does NOT mean that the child is entitled to it regardless of circumstances. You are in charge of the money, and if you decide to change who is eligible to use it, that’s up to you. (Or whoever else established the 529 account.)

Note that 529 plans differ from state to state, so you might only be allowed to make a change to the beneficiary once per year. If you need to make a change, call up the 529 administrator and ask them what the deal is.