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Will my bankruptcy affect my child's 529 College Saving Plan?

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In a Nutshell

Whether or not funds in your child's 529 plan are protected when you file bankruptcy depends on how long ago you deposited the funds in the account.

Written by Kristin Turner, Harvard Law Grad.  
Updated February 26, 2021

Whether or not funds in your child's 529 plan are protected when you file bankruptcy depends on how long ago you deposited the funds in the account.

  • Funds deposited more than two years before your bankruptcy are protected.

  • Funds deposited between one and two years before you filed bankruptcy are partially protected. The first $6,425 of these funds are protected, but anything above that amount is not.

  • Funds deposited less than one year before you filed bankruptcy are not protected.

For any unprotected funds listed above, you may still be able to keep some or all of them if your state provides an exemption that could be used to protect them. Our system will help you select and apply the appropriate exemption.

Do I need to list my child's 529 savings account even though I am just the signer?

When it comes to 529 plans, there are account owners and account beneficiaries. If you set up the 529 plan for your child, you are the owner and they are the beneficiary. Unless someone other than yourself set up the account and is the account's owner, you have to list your child's 529 plan on your bankruptcy forms. 

Written By:

Kristin Turner, Harvard Law Grad


Kristin is a recipient of Harvard Law School’s Public Welfare Foundation A2J Tech Fellowship. At Harvard Law, she served as a member of the Harvard Defenders, the Women’s Law Association, and the Harvard Law Negotiation Review. She was the 2016 – 2017 president of the Harvard Bla... read more about Kristin Turner, Harvard Law Grad

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