Welcome! Thank you for your question.
Unless her will makes provisions for a Trust for the benefit of at least the minor children then the bequests to the minors (children under age 18) will have to be held by a court appointed guardian. The guardian will have to qualify and be appointed by the probate
court and will be under strict scrutiny over the management of the funds until the children turn 18. Once the children turn 18 the funds must be turned over to the children outright, regardless of the situation of the children.
There is no way that 529 plans can be utilized in such a situation.
Your elderly mother would much better serve the grandchildren by leaving the bequests to them in a protective trust instead of outright. The grandmother can appoint anyone she wants to manage the trust for the grandchildren and can set any rules she wants for the use of the funds for their benefit. This prevents the requirement of court involvement and even allows the trustee to manage the funds for years after the children turn 18 if the grandmother chooses.
I cannot provide you with legal advise. I have provided you with information about the law related to your question. My answer, and any information that you find online, should not take the place of having a consultation with a lawyer in your area to advise you regarding your specific issues.
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