Grandparents and 529s were made for each other.
—Joseph Hurley, CPA, Savingforcollege.com
When grandparents want to help with college costs, this should be the No. 1 rule that they follow: First, do no harm.
To illustrate what can go wrong if you ignore this admonition, I’m sharing the story of a middle-class family in Southern California that received a large financial gift from a wealthy grandparent. The grandfather gave each of the three children a significant amount of money that he wanted them to eventually use to purchase homes for themselves.
There was, however, an unintended consequence of the grandfather’s largesse. His gifts ensured that his grandchildren would not qualify for financial aid. One of the children ...