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Nate, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10685
Experience:  Over 10 years of legal estate experience.
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Here we go again with another trust question. My wifes parents

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Here we go again with another trust question.
My wife's parents setup a 529 educational account for my son.
There is currently around $200K in the account.
Last year my wife and my son and I selected a college on the assumption he would have access to that money....he is now at that college.....
I am currently paying the bills.
We have asked her parents to give him access to the money so he can remain at that college but they have said "No". Yes it is irrational.
I alone cannot afford to keep him there, so he will have to move schools if he doesn't get access to the money.

Can they just decide to keep the money?
Is there anything I can do to persuade them to give him access to the money?

And yes her parents are like 75+ and I suspect they both have alzheimers....because its difficult to undertand why they won't give him access to the money.
My name isXXXXX have been a licensed attorney for over ten years and will be assisting you today.

Outside of the ongoing waffling you've described here and in previous questions, what other evidence is there that they are suffering from Alzheimer's or some other sort of dementia?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

They're under a doctor's care for Alzheimer's and are on medication for it......I don't know what type of meds.....its becoming a real we have to pick them up when they get lost.....5 miles from their house.


My son busted his butt to get into that school....and it would break all of our hearts to pull him out.

The way the law views 529 accounts, the beneficiary has no control over access to the funds. If they were of sound mind and chose to deny him the funds, they have that right to do so.

That said, they are not of sound mind and appear unable to adequately manage their affairs.

As there is a medical diagnosis of dementia and their actions show them unable to take care of themselves (leaving the house and getting lost that easily could result in someone get hurt or killed) the best option here is to petition the superior court for a conservatorship over them both.

A conservatorship takes away in its entirety their ability to manage his own affairs and places it in the hands of someone competent to do so. In this situation, you would propose yourself as conservator.

The process is outlined here

That would allow you to decide how the accounts are used, including the 529 they designated for your son's benefit.

If you have more questions please feel free to ask. I'll be happy to answer them. If you do not, please do remember to rate my service in assistance to you today.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

As bad as it is my wife would never do that....that would severely damage whatever relationship is left.....but've answered the question.

I'm sorry there isn't anything more workable than that. Perhaps an impassioned plea by their grandson might help. Also, if they do not use it for his education they would suffer tax liability and a 10% penalty on its withdrawal. I'm not sure if that will work to sway them, but it's a fact that may be worth bringing to their attention.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

impassioned plea might work...but he doesn't know of the issue yet...and i don't want to worry or demotivate him.

rational discussion hasn't worked.....

and they don't remember today what was discussed yesterday anyway.


Dealing with Alz is tough......



It is frustrating - I know. I do hope things work out.
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