As you may have heard, we recently welcomed a new baby girl into the world. You may also remember that we had previously opened up a 529 college savings plan for her through CollegeAdvantage. At the time she wasn’t born, so we needed an alternate beneficiary.
We chose my wife, Mrs. PT, as the temporary beneficiary. We’ve since funded the account with bonuses from both opening the account and creating an EFT to save money in the account. It’s been a good ride for this account without a real beneficiary.
But now it’s time to transfer the account to its rightful owner, our new girl. Here’s how that process works:
You can’t just simply change the name on the account. First you have to open up an entirely new account (using the same account holder) with CollegeAdvantage and transfer the assets from the first account to the second.
You can’t complete this transfer using your online account access. You have to download a pdf form from this CollegeAdvantage forms page, complete it, and mail it to CollegeAdvantage at PO Box 692196 Cincinnati, OH 45269. Instructions on how to use this form can be found at this CollegeAdvantage account changes informational page.
To complete the form, you will need the account holder and current beneficiary information. You will also need the new beneficiary’s info (including SSN…which is what we were waiting on in this case). Next, you will have the option to transfer only a partial amount, change the investments, and change the EFT information.
Finally, you will need to sign the form in front of someone who can provide a signature guarantee. This is different from a notary. But it looks like you can get one of these guarantees at a bank.
A 529 college savings plan is an excellent way to save for college expenses. The money grows tax free as long as you use it for education expenses. College savings plans (vs prepaid plans) are very flexible and you can even open one up in a different state. CollegeAdvantage is in Ohio. My girls won’t have to go to Ohio schools though. They can go anywhere in the U.S. and use those funds tax free.