529 Education accounts

529 education accounts are a way for someone to save for educational expense. But how are they treated in bankruptcy.

Like everything else in the law, it depends. Since the person funding the account (usually the parents of the beneficiary) retains the ability to withdraw money from the account, it would normally be property of the bankruptcy estate. But §§541(b)(5) and (6) apply to possibly remove the accounts form the estate.

To remove the 529 account from the bankruptcy estate, the beneficiary of the 529 account must be a child, stepchild, grandchild or stepgrandchild of the person funding the plan. The contribution must be over 2 years old. If it is between one and two years old, then only $5475 is removed from the estate. Any contribution less than a year old remains property of the estate.

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