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I'm inheriting an account that's not an IRA

If your loved one left you an account that's not an IRA, we'll help you transfer it into your name.

What can you do with this account?

Your 2 options are to inherit the account or to disclaim it.

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Inheriting the account

Inheriting an account means transferring the proceeds from your loved one's account into a new account in your name.

Disclaiming the account

You may refuse to accept ownership of—that is, disclaim—the investments in your loved one's account, either in part or in full. The investments that you refuse will then pass to the other primary beneficiaries or, if none exist, to any secondary beneficiaries.

We recommend that you discuss the decision to disclaim an account with an attorney or a tax advisor. Typically, if you disclaim an account, you can't change your mind later.

Ready to inherit the account?

Call us at 877-445-8798. We'll send you the information you need, and we'll work with you every step of the way.

For tax purposes, you may need to know how much the investments were worth on the day your loved one died—the date-of-death value. You can request that information when you call us.

When the account transfer is complete, we'll send you and any other beneficiaries a letter or an email letting you know the account has been transferred into your names.

Your new Vanguard account

When the transfer is complete and you have a new Vanguard account in your name, you might want to take a look at the services we provide to make your investing life easier.

Getting started

Tell us a few details about the person who passed away. We'll let you know if you can complete the process online, or if you need to call us.

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Stay organized

We know that inheriting a Vanguard account is just one of the tasks on your to-do list during this busy time.

Your questions answered

We've found that people inheriting accounts tend to have similar questions.

Inheritance glossary

Being familiar with these terms might help as you transfer your loved one's account into your name.


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Date-of-death value

The value of the investments in the account on the day the account owner died.