Family Wealth blog

Legacy Building: 529 Plans

A happy college graduate waves her diploma in the air

Creating a lasting legacy often involves passing down values, wisdom, and opportunities for growth. One of the most impactful ways to do this is through education. 529 plans offer a powerful tool for funding education across generations, helping to build a legacy of knowledge and opportunity.

Basics of 529 Plans

At their core, 529 plans are investment vehicles tailored for education savings. They offer significant tax advantages, allowing contributions to grow tax-free, with withdrawals also being tax-free when used for qualified education expenses.1

This feature makes 529 plans a prime choice for those looking to invest in education over the long term. Understanding the mechanics of these plans is the first step in harnessing their potential for legacy building.2

529 Plans and Legacy Building

The true power of 529 plans lies in their ability to adapt to the evolving needs of a family. Initially set up for a child or grandchild, the beneficiary of the plan can be changed, making it possible to support the educational aspirations of multiple generations within a family. So, whether you have a child or grandchild—or several—you’d like to help, 529 plans provide a good way to do it. Speaking of legacy, you can even make 529 plans part of your estate planning.3 This flexibility is what transforms a 529 plan from a simple savings tool into a dynamic instrument for legacy building.

Strategic Contributions and Growth

To maximize the impact of a 529 plan, a strategic approach to contributions and investments is essential. Regular contributions, combined with a well-diversified investment portfolio, can harness the power of compounding, leading to significant growth over time. This growth is crucial in keeping pace with the increasing costs of education, ensuring that the plan can meet the needs of future generations. It’s also a good reminder that consulting with your financial advisor and tax professional—highly educated in what they do, by the way—is always recommended.

Estate Planning and 529 Plans

Incorporating 529 plans into estate planning can provide a dual benefit: reducing the taxable estate while earmarking funds for education.4 This approach not only provides tax benefits but also ensures that the legacy of education is preserved and passed on according to the family’s wishes. As mentioned above, 529 plans can be built into the future of multiple generations.

Long-Term Investing

Long-term investing is at the heart of a successful 529 plan. By selecting investments that align with the family’s goals and risk tolerance, and by periodically rebalancing the portfolio, the plan can grow steadily over time. Keeping a long-term approach can also avoid making panic sales right when the education matters most. Also, the financial growth that’s the focus of long-term investing is vital for ensuring that the plan aims to cover the rising costs of education and remain a cornerstone of the family’s legacy.

The Takeaway

529 plans offer a unique opportunity to invest in your family’s future while building a legacy of education. By understanding their benefits and employing strategic planning, families can create a lasting impact that supports the educational aspirations of multiple generations.

The legacy of education is one of the most valuable gifts one can give, and 529 plans provide a structured way to make this gift a reality. Make sure to consult with your financial advisor and tax professional to ensure that you’re making the most of these educational plans.






Disclosure: This information is for educational and informative purposes and shall not be considered a specific recommendation. Readers are advised to speak with their advisor at JL Bainbridge to determine their specific recommendations that meet their investment objectives and to review their portfolios. The material being provided is thought to be accurate. However, the information is compiled from multiple resources and may become outdated or otherwise rendered incorrect by new research or corrections without notice. J.L. Bainbridge & Co., Inc., is not a broker dealer and does not offer tax or legal advice. Please consult your tax or legal advisor for assistance regarding your individual situation. It should neither be assumed that future results will be as profitable or that a loss could not be incurred. For more information related to our firm, please see our disclosure brochures at and

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