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La Jolla Mom

Give the Gift of Higher Education

BY La Jolla Mom In partnership with ScholarShare

During this season of giving, it’s easy to gift the child in your life something with more longevity than a toy or gadget.

A deposit as small as $25 can be made  into a (partner) ScholarShare 529 college savings account. It is often done as part of a larger gift, too, if you’d like to also give the child something immediate and tangible.

How? Contribute to an existing ScholarShare account or open up a new one with the child as beneficiary. It’s actually much easier than it sounds.

Gift to an Existing ScholarShare Account

If the account is existing, it’s easiest to download a ScholarShare gift deposit form. Ask the account owner for the account number. Write a check to ScholarShare College Savings Plan. Be sure to include the account number on the check and then mail it in with the deposit form.

Alternatively, you can present the recipient with a check and gift deposit form and let them fill in the account number. This is what I would likely do.

Gift a New ScholarShare Account

If the child doesn’t yet have a ScholarShare account, then you would complete the application process which can be done online in about 5 minutes. Or, request a paper application. You will need to know the child’s social security number, however. And, remember that a beneficiary can have more than one ScholarShare account.

Print a Special Gift Certificate for the Occasion

Download a ScholarShare gift certificate to accompany your contribution. Gift certificates are themed by occasion from baby showers to birthdays to any occasion. This is a great way to let the account owner know that you send a gift, if the check didn’t pass directly through their hands.

Drop the Hint to Friends and Relatives

Friends and relatives won’t know to gift money to a 529 college savings account without parents or the child mentioning it. Send them an email and include the link to the gift deposit form. Let them take it from there. No pressure.

Other Things to Know

The generous folks who send in gifts to existing accounts don’t have any access to your account. They can’t change investment allocations or see balances. Gifted funds are invested according to the account’s pre-determined investment allocation.

Education opens the doors to future success which is certainly an important gift!

See also:

Visit ScholarShare to open a college savings account for your kids!

*Disclaimer: Though I was a financial adviser in a former life, this isn’t intended to be financial advice so seek counsel from your licensed financial adviser before taking action. Though some of this information applies to 529 college savings plans across the country, I am only speaking based on personal experience with ScholarShare, a plan that we personally own. Your financial situation may be different than ours. Please see the ScholarShare disclosure booklet for more details. Thanks to ScholarShare for supporting this series of posts.

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