Can I change the beneficiary of my 529 account? Who is eligible to be a new beneficiary?

You can change the beneficiary without adverse federal income tax consequences, as long as the new beneficiary is an eligible member of the family of the current beneficiary. In addition, the proposed IRS regulations provide that no federal gift tax or generation-skipping transfer tax will result, as long as the new beneficiary is of the same generation as the current beneficiary. Any change of the beneficiary to a person who is not an eligible member of the family of the current beneficiary is treated as a non-qualified withdrawal subject to applicable federal and state income taxes, as well as the additional 10% federal tax on earnings.

Eligible members of the family include the beneficiary’s:

    • Natural or legally adopted children
    • Parents or ancestors of parents
    • Siblings or stepsiblings
    • Stepchildren
    • Stepparents
    • Nieces or nephews
    • Aunts or uncles
    • The spouse of any of the individuals listed above
    • The spouse of the beneficiary
    • First cousins


Was this article helpful?

For more information about the Wealthfront 529 College Savings Plan (the “Plan”), download the Plan Description and Participation Agreement or request one by calling
844-995-8437 or emailing Investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information are included in the Plan Description and Participation Agreement; please read and consider it carefully before investing. An investment in the Plan is not insured or guaranteed by the FDIC or any federal or state government or agency. You could lose all or portion of your investment. Wealthfront Brokerage Corporation serves as the distributor and the underwriter of the Plan.

Before you invest, consider whether your or the beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protection from creditors that are only available for investments in that state’s qualified tuition program

The Plan is administered by the Board of Trustees of the College Savings Plans of Nevada (the “Board”), chaired by the Nevada State Treasurer. Ascensus Broker Dealer Services, Inc. (“ABD”) serves as the Program Manager.

Earnings on nonqualified withdrawals are subject to federal income tax and may be subject to a 10 percent federal tax penalty, as well as state and local income taxes. The availability of tax and other benefits may be contingent on meeting other requirements.

The information contained is provided for general informational purposes, and should not be construed as investment advice. Nothing should be construed as tax advice, solicitation or offer, or recommendation, to buy or sell any security. Financial advisory services are only provided to investors who become Wealthfront clients. This article is not intended as tax advice, and Wealthfront does not represent in any manner that the tax consequences described here will be obtained or will result in any particular tax consequence.