Billings, MT asked in Estate Planning for Montana

Q: Who is the authorized person for a Coverdell ESA?

My son's grandmother setup a Coverdell ESA for my son. My understanding was that anyone can setup Coverdell ESA but a parent or legal guardian is the responsible person till child turns 18 or 21 (depending on the state laws). But, when I tried to take a distribution from the account, I was told that only account owner, which is grandmother, can authorize it. Are they correct? Everywhere I read on the Internet, it is said that the parent of the child is the only one can make decisions about Coverdell ESAs regardless of who set it up.

Thank you for your time and help.

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1 Lawyer Answer

Mark Anderson

Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Hamilton, MT
  • Licensed in Montana

A: It probably depends upon how the account was set up. You should try writing the company and providing the information.

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