I am the trustee for my mother’s living trust and I am trying to help her open an investment account at Vanguard. How do I go about opening a Trust account at Vanguard?
Most regular brokerage accounts can be opened online. Trust accounts need to use the paper form and provide a little more information.
Here is how you find the proper form:
1. Go to Vanguard.com. It will probably ask you which of the following you are:
- Personal investors
- Retirement plan participants
- Institutional investors
- Financial advisors.
2. Click on “Personal investors.” This will bring you to the Vanguard page for personal investors. Up at the top of the page is a red line with some choices at the top right part of the line:
3. Click on “Forms.” This brings up a list of different categories of forms and the most common forms in each category.
4. Under “Open a nonretirement account” click on “Trust.” you will find two documents.
5. Select “Account Registration Form – Trust Only” by clicking on the “View and Print” Option.
6. Call Vanguard at 1-800-662-7447 if you have any questions. The form is annotated with helpful information. And don’t forget to send them a copy of the trust documents.
7. Set your default method of cost basis account. Vanguard’s default method for matching mutual fund trade lots is Average Cost Accounting. This is usually not the best methodology. You can set the default method to HIFO using the Vanguard “Cost Basis Method Election Form.”