We know how difficult losing a loved one can be. Even if you found yourself unprepared to inherit this account, we'll do whatever we can to make the transfer go smoothly.
What you'll need to inherit the account
If someone has left you a Vanguard account and you're wondering what you'll need to do to inherit that account, you've come to the right place. We'll help you understand the options available to you as a beneficiary. We use inherit to describe those options generally, but, as you'll see, you may have other options as well.
Inheriting an investment account isn't quite the same as being the beneficiary of a life insurance policy. You can receive the proceeds of a life insurance policy in cash. But when you inherit a Vanguard account, you inherit the investments in that account.
Later, you can choose whether to move those investments into an account of your own, change them, or even sell them. But first, you'll have to transfer the account into your name. To begin that transfer, give us a call at 877-445-8798. If you're one of a group of beneficiaries, each beneficiary should call to start the transfer.
What you can expect during your first call to us
- We'll confirm that you're listed as a beneficiary on the account or someone authorized to act on the beneficiary's behalf.
- We may ask you for the death certificate, which the funeral home should provide.
- We'll figure out which forms you need to fill out, and we may even be able to prefill some of the information before sending them to you.
Protecting the account
Even if you're not ready to begin the account transfer today, it's still a good idea to call us at 877-445-8798 to protect the account against possible fraud. We'll also check whether your loved one's account has any automatic services that we should stop.
When you call, be sure to have:
- The account owner's name and address.
- The last 4 digits of the account owner's Social Security number.
A note about your options
Your options for what to do with the account depend on what type of account it is and your relationship to the account owner.
By your side
As you work with our team of dedicated inheritance professionals, you'll see first-hand why your loved one chose and trusted Vanguard.
Once the transfer is complete and the account is in your name, we can also help you meet your own investing goals.
We're here to help
Monday through Friday
8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Eastern time
A person or organization designated to receive the proceeds of an investment account (or an insurance policy, a pension, or an annuity contract) after the owner's death.