In addition, under the federal tax rules, in the 2019 tax year, an individual can make annual contributions to a 529 plan up to $15,000 ($30,000 for a married couple)—the federal gift tax annual exclusion for 2019—and may front-load up to five years of federal gift tax annual exclusions. This means that an individual could potentially contribute up to $75,000 ($150,000 for a married couple) towards a 529 plan this year and treat the gift as though it were made ratably over the current year and subsequent four years.
That said, it's important to understand that 529 plans are sponsored by individual states, and each state determines the maximum contributions, eligible investments and tax advantages for its own program; therefore, state plans could vary greatly in their tax benefits, investment options, costs and features.
Also keep in mind that you're not required to invest in your own state's 529 plan but may want to consider it if a state tax benefit exists. And the distributions do not need to be used to pay for schools within your state of residence. You may also contribute to more than one state's 529 plan.
At the end of the day, the best way to prepare for educational expenses is to become familiar with the savings options available to you and determine how each of these can best address your specific needs.