You can make contributions to a child's Coverdell ESA until he or she reaches the age of 18 at which point he or she may take control of the account (that is if the Responsible Individual, usually the parent or legal guardian has previously set the account up accordingly), but funds must be used by the time the beneficiary turns 30 years old. The funds can also be transferred to a younger sibling.

This 18 year age limit does not apply to special needs beneficiaries. This is a person who requires additional time to complete his or her education because of a physical, mental or emotional condition (including a learning disability).