How To Transfer 529 Funds From One Child To Another

Sometimes, your best-laid plans in life change. You’ve been saving for your child’s future higher education in a 529 plan since they were young. When it’s time to head to college, your child decides that they don’t want to pursue a higher education – whether at a trade school, certificate program, two-year community college or a traditional four-year college or university. Or your child earns a full-ride scholarship that covers all their higher education costs so you longer need your 529 account.

So what do you do now with your college savings plan? With Ohio’s 529 Plan, CollegeAdvantage, you still have options. As there are no time constraints on the use of a 529 plan, you can hold onto the account for when your child changes their mind about continuing their higher education.  Another option is to transfer the account to a new beneficiary, who must be a member of the family, anyone related to the family through blood, marriage, or adoption.

How to change your 529 plan beneficiary

In order to change your beneficiary of your Ohio Direct 529 account, please complete the Beneficiary Change Form, which can be downloaded and printed from the form section at This process cannot be done online.

First, you will need to fill in the existing account information, including your current beneficiary’s Social Security or Taxpayer Identification number.

For the second step, you will need to add your new beneficiary’s information including name, Social Security or Taxpayer Identification number, and the current beneficiary’s relationship to the new beneficiary.

Once you’ve supplied all this data, you will then decide how much you would like to transfer from your original beneficiary to your new beneficiary. You can transfer the entire amount in the account or you can elect to only move only a portion over. If your new beneficiary already has an Ohio Direct 529 Plan, just add the account number on the form and you’re done. If you need to open an account for your new beneficiary, you can do that on this form as well, and you have a few more steps to do.

If you need to open an account for your new beneficiary, you will need to follow steps 4 through 6, which include selecting the investment options for the new account. You do have the option of keeping the same investment allocation for your new beneficiary or you can choose other options that might be a better fit for your new beneficiary, based on his or her age. Before you can move to the next step, your percentage totals in the chosen investment portfolios must add up to 100 percent. The next two steps — naming a successor owner and setting up an automatic investment plan (AIP) — are optional and can only be selected if you, as the original account owner, remaining the same. Read terms of agreement before getting ready to sign the form. Your signature must be notarized and dated on the same date as the notarization. A signature guarantee will not be accepted in place of a notary’s seal.

A couple of things to keep in mind: 1) you cannot complete a beneficiary change on a UTMA/UGMA account and 2) both the current beneficiary and new beneficiary must be under the same account owner.                                                                

Need some help?

Have more questions? Call our Customer Service Department from 8:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. EST Monday-Friday at 1-800-AFFORD-IT (1-800-233-6734). Already have an account and would like to make some changes? Log in to your Direct 529 Plan account to increase automatic deposits or payroll deduction contribution amount, update information, or perform account maintenance.

Someday your child is going to college. Someday starts today with Ohio’s 529 Plan.

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