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How to Include Plans to Pay for College in Your Estate Planning

Planning for the future goes well beyond saving for a child's college education. Parents also must think about what could happen to a college savings account if they are not around. Many of these parents who have established tax advantage education savings plans, also referred to as 529 plans, have not named a successor. This means that they might have someone they do not know controlling their child's education funding if they pass away. Naming a successor means giving someone else control of the account if the account owner is no longer capable of making decisions or passes away.

Parents who ultimately name a successor, risk that person not following their wishes. This is why you need to carefully choose the person to serve in this role to ensure that he or she has the best interests of your beneficiaries in mind. Although adults can expect to live past 75 on average in the United States, it is still important for parents to prepare just in case. Understand the necessary procedures for naming a successor by asking for the form directly from your 529 plan manager.

Since a successor maintains all the rights of a traditional account owner, you need to remember that he or she can also choose to change the beneficiary. You need to put someone you trust in this powerful position to give you peace of mind and to ensure that the wishes you have established years ago will be thoroughly protected by the person who is ultimately appointed in this role.

A Kansas estate planning attorney can help you figure out how all your assets can be structured within a proper estate plan for your loved ones.