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Frequently Asked Questions

Report Death of Account Owner

When an individual other than the account owner passes away, the account owner may change the individual on the account by completing the appropriate form and required documentation.

If the beneficiary (student) on the account passes away, the account owner may:

  • Change the student on the account by completing and submitting the Beneficiary Change Form.
  • Withdraw the funds, subject to federal income tax on the earnings and state income tax for Virginia taxpayers. Non-Qualified Withdrawals due to a student’s death will not be subject to the 10% federal penalty on earnings. It is up to the Account Owner to provide this documentation and talk to their tax advisor.

The update can take up to 30 days after the required documentation is received.  The new account owner will receive notification of the update via mail.

Please send a copy of the Account Owner’s death certificate and complete as much of the information on the  form as you know.

Virginia529 accounts automatically pass to the named designated survivor at the death of the Account Owner.  When a valid Designated Survivor is not named Virginia529 reserves the right to designate the account beneficiary (student) as the new account owner if the student is over the age of 18.  If the student is under the age of 18, Virginia529 has the discretion to set up a custodial account (under UTMA) for the benefit of the student and designate a custodian to manage the account until the student turns the age of 18.  Per the Prepaid529 and Invest529 Program Descriptions, Virginia529 may take the suggestion of the executor or representative of the deceased Account Owner’s estate when naming a custodian for a student. 

If both the Account Owner and Designated Survivor have passed away, complete and submit the Transfer Account Upon Death of an Account Owner Form, along with a copy of the death certificates.