If the annuity carries charges for early withdrawal you may actually do better to leave it alone until those charges go away. If you have had most of the annuity for 4 years of college, and your dad has contributed more money along the way, those more recent contributions may carry substantial early withdrawal fees. If this is a variable annuity and quite aggressively invested, you may find it doesn't really do badly. So get a little more information before you jump out. The mechanism for cashing it out is clear: you call up the insurance company and they send you the paperwork. Your dad paid for a type of tax shelter. Not the best, but after taxes and 10% penalty on earnings for withdrawing before age 59 1/2, although that is not the choice you would have made, your dad made the choice and it may be better to accept it rather than looking for a bailout immediately. Just don't pay variable annuity management fees and be invested in money markets! Best wishes, Chris
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