I am sorry I put this thread off on a tangent. Well, only a little sorry. I don't know about how they are treated for financial aid, which I think is your main question. Estate and gift taxes should be a secondary concern. With respect to which, the law says:
(3) Special rules for applying estate and gift taxes with respect to account
Rules similar to the rules of paragraphs (2), (4), and (5) of section 529 (c) shall apply for purposes of this section.
(6) Change in beneficiary
Any change in the beneficiary of a Coverdell education savings account shall not be treated as a distribution for purposes of paragraph (1) if the new beneficiary is a member of the family (as so defined) of the old beneficiary and has not attained age 30 as of the date of such change.
(7) Special rules for death and divorce
Rules similar to the rules of paragraphs (7) and (8) of section 220 (f) shall apply. In applying the preceding sentence, members of the family (as so defined) of the designated beneficiary shall be treated in the same manner as the spouse under such paragraph (8).
A change of beneficiary from you to a child (not "assigned to the same generation as (or a higher generation than) the old beneficiary ") means that the gift tax rules apply (paragraph 5 of section 529c).
Maybe someone else will comment on the financial aid part. I would think that savingforcollege and similar sites would also have information.