Vanguard Online Account Access for Spouse

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stats99
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Vanguard Online Account Access for Spouse

Post by stats99 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:38 am

I have several accounts with Vanguard that are under my name only or joint accounts under me and my spouse. These accounts are accessible online and via one login/user id and password. However, my wife has one IRA account that is just hers and that we receive paper statements only. We would like to at least get online access to that account and ideally have all our accounts accessible online in one place.

Before I start chatting with Vanguard customer service, what should I be asking for specifically? Any ideas, comments thoughts on my approach to Vanguard customer service is appreciated. Thanks!

Soon2BXProgrammer
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Re: Vanguard Online Account Access for Spouse

Post by Soon2BXProgrammer » Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:46 am

she will need to get online access to that account under her own ID.. it is against the law for you to use her account.

There is a process to allow you to have full authority on her account from your ID.

I believe the easiest place to do this is under Account Maintenance - Account Permissions

--
EDIT: I am not a lawyer and please read rest of the thread on my "claim" that it is against the law. Please consult an attorney as I am not one.
Last edited by Soon2BXProgrammer on Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jebmke
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Re: Vanguard Online Account Access for Spouse

Post by jebmke » Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:16 am

It is possible to have VG link her accounts to your online user ID. You would be able to see them but not transact. To transact, she would have to go through the agency process.

We each have an online user ID and all of our individual and joint accounts are visible by each.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

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mhc
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Re: Vanguard Online Account Access for Spouse

Post by mhc » Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:22 am

You can handle all this online on the Vanguard website. My DW has given me the permissions to handle everything for her. I do her annual IRA contribution and Roth conversion every year from my login account.

I also have my individual accounts show up in her login so she can see everything; although, she never logs in. I have to track her login ID and password for her.

mptfan
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Re: Vanguard Online Account Access for Spouse

Post by mptfan » Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:33 am

Soon2BXProgrammer wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:46 am
she will need to get online access to that account under her own ID.. it is against the law for you to use her account.
What law is that?

retiringwhen
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Re: Vanguard Online Account Access for Spouse

Post by retiringwhen » Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:40 am

Look up Agent Authorization. One spouse can provide Agent Authorization to the other via the documents provided by Vanguard (Medallion signature required I believe). This is a fully legal and supported by their platform. It also functions as Power of Attorney for intents and purposes for future disability as well. It is a bit of a task to get it all setup, but once done you can both have full access to each other accounts (or limited as much as desired).

We did it and it has been smooth sailing ever since.

Soon2BXProgrammer
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Re: Vanguard Online Account Access for Spouse

Post by Soon2BXProgrammer » Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:49 am

mptfan wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:33 am
Soon2BXProgrammer wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:46 am
she will need to get online access to that account under her own ID.. it is against the law for you to use her account.
What law is that?
maybe not the law, but i believe it is in the account access agreement that you "click through" with vanguard, that you won't provide your account information to anyone else. blah blah blah blah.

it isn't too hard once she has an account, for you to be an authorized agent, and it show up in your login.

mptfan
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Re: Vanguard Online Account Access for Spouse

Post by mptfan » Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:32 am

Soon2BXProgrammer wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:49 am
mptfan wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:33 am
Soon2BXProgrammer wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:46 am
she will need to get online access to that account under her own ID.. it is against the law for you to use her account.
What law is that?
maybe not the law, but i believe it is in the account access agreement that you "click through" with vanguard, that you won't provide your account information to anyone else. blah blah blah blah.
Perhaps you should amend your post to delete the statement that it is against the law.

Soon2BXProgrammer
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Re: Vanguard Online Account Access for Spouse

Post by Soon2BXProgrammer » Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:00 pm

mptfan wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 11:32 am
Soon2BXProgrammer wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:49 am
mptfan wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:33 am
Soon2BXProgrammer wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:46 am
she will need to get online access to that account under her own ID.. it is against the law for you to use her account.
What law is that?
maybe not the law, but i believe it is in the account access agreement that you "click through" with vanguard, that you won't provide your account information to anyone else. blah blah blah blah.
Perhaps you should amend your post to delete the statement that it is against the law.
No. i'm not a lawyer.. but.. i read something somewhere.. the challenge is.. the spouse doesn't have the rights under the law to transact on another spouses personal retirement accounts.
example:
http://www.janbrownlaw.com/pdf/ARTICLE% ... SPOUSE.pdf
sharing a password does not give the other spouse actual authority to transact on the account.
an actual power of attorney is needed. And you have to transact as yourself, then use the permissions granted to you.

mptfan
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Re: Vanguard Online Account Access for Spouse

Post by mptfan » Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:13 pm

The article that you cited says nothing about it being against the law for a spouse to access a spouse's account. The article refers to the situation where one spouse becomes incapacitated and that having a power of attorney would be useful in that situtuation.

I think it is irresponsible for you to declare that it is against the law when you are not an attorney and you have not provided a citation to support your statement that it is against the law, and you continue to maintain that position and spread misinformation by refusing to edit your post once you become aware that there is no such law.

rgs92
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Re: Vanguard Online Account Access for Spouse

Post by rgs92 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:18 pm

We'd all be in jail if that was true.

bei22000
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Re: Vanguard Online Account Access for Spouse

Post by bei22000 » Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:19 pm

retiringwhen wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:40 am
Look up Agent Authorization. One spouse can provide Agent Authorization to the other via the documents provided by Vanguard (Medallion signature required I believe). This is a fully legal and supported by their platform. It also functions as Power of Attorney for intents and purposes for future disability as well. It is a bit of a task to get it all setup, but once done you can both have full access to each other accounts (or limited as much as desired).

We did it and it has been smooth sailing ever since.
This is the correct answer to this. I had a same issue 2 yrs ago with my husband's ROTH with Vanguard. I was trying to access his account using his log-in information, "pretending him" and got caught by their auto fraud detection device (kind like voice recog.) Then I was advised to fill out an agent authorization form so i can manage his account and do the investment on his behalf. Now both of us can access to his account without any issues.

Soon2BXProgrammer
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Re: Vanguard Online Account Access for Spouse

Post by Soon2BXProgrammer » Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:26 pm

mptfan wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:13 pm
The article that you cited says nothing about it being against the law for a spouse to access a spouse's account. The article refers to the situation where one spouse becomes incapacitated and that having a power of attorney would be useful in that situtuation.

I think it is irresponsible for you to declare that it is against the law when you are not an attorney and you have not provided a citation to support your statement that it is against the law, and you continue to maintain that position and spread misinformation by refusing to edit your post once you become aware that there is no such law.
this thread is here for all to see, and they can see the responses and decide for themselves. In theory, my understanding it is that it could be considered fraud/identity theft/etc. while not a lawyer, that is my personal position for all to see. No one has to believe me. I do not want to edit my original statement, and change it.

I will add a note to say, please read rest of the thread. and that i'm not a lawyer.

Soon2BXProgrammer
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Re: Vanguard Online Account Access for Spouse

Post by Soon2BXProgrammer » Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:38 pm

mptfan wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:13 pm
The article that you cited says nothing about it being against the law for a spouse to access a spouse's account. The article refers to the situation where one spouse becomes incapacitated and that having a power of attorney would be useful in that situtuation.

I think it is irresponsible for you to declare that it is against the law when you are not an attorney and you have not provided a citation to support your statement that it is against the law, and you continue to maintain that position and spread misinformation by refusing to edit your post once you become aware that there is no such law.
https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/15/6821

15 U.S. Code § 6821 - Privacy protection for customer information of financial institutions
(a) Prohibition on obtaining customer information by false pretensesIt shall be a violation of this subchapter for any person to obtain or attempt to obtain, or cause to be disclosed or attempt to cause to be disclosed to any person, customer information of a financial institution relating to another person—
(1) by making a false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation to an officer, employee, or agent of a financial institution;
(2) by making a false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation to a customer of a financial institution; or
(3) by providing any document to an officer, employee, or agent of a financial institution, knowing that the document is forged, counterfeit, lost, or stolen, was fraudulently obtained, or contains a false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation.
(b) Prohibition on solicitation of a person to obtain customer information from financial institution under false pretenses

It shall be a violation of this subchapter to request a person to obtain customer information of a financial institution, knowing that the person will obtain, or attempt to obtain, the information from the institution in any manner described in subsection (a).

...

My understanding is you can't impersonate your spouse. if you use their credentials, that is what you are doing. if you call in and use their information to identify yourself, you are impersonating them.. etc.

also unless your a lawyer, and unless you know better, how have you proven that using your spouses credentials isn't against the law? all you pointed out was that i didn't have a supportive reference.

my position is that one needs a power of attorney and identify as themselves, and use the power the spouse granted to them through that vehicle.. for certain items..

BigJohn
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Re: Vanguard Online Account Access for Spouse

Post by BigJohn » Fri Nov 30, 2018 6:28 pm

I’ve been in this situation with VG although it was several years ago so some details may have changed.

What you want is for your spouse to grant you full agent authorization. This should allow you to see the account on-line when you log into your accounts with your ID/password. It should also grant you access to transact business in the account. There are a few things you cannot do but I don’t recall what they were as it was never needed. My wife did this years ago when it could be granted on-line but these days I think it requires a paper form with a notarized signature. Be aware, that VG does not recognize legitimate durable powers of attorney, they will only accept their own form. So, if there is any worry about incapacity, get this done early while your spouse’s signature can still be notarized.

mptfan
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Re: Vanguard Online Account Access for Spouse

Post by mptfan » Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:47 am

Soon2BXProgrammer wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 12:38 pm
My understanding is you can't impersonate your spouse. if you use their credentials, that is what you are doing. if you call in and use their information to identify yourself, you are impersonating them.. etc.

also unless your a lawyer, and unless you know better, how have you proven that using your spouses credentials isn't against the law? all you pointed out was that i didn't have a supportive reference.
Your understanding is not correct, and yes I am a lawyer, and yes I know better. The statute that you cited does not apply because accessing someone's account online with their permission is not a "false statement," it's not a statement at all, among other reasons. And you have it backwards...you stated that it was against the law, so it should be up to you to provide a reference to support your statement and not the other way around, it's not up to me to prove the negative. It is not fair to say "unless you can prove that my position is false, it must be true."

This may not be a perfect analogy, but imagine your spouse owns a car and he or she gives you the key to that car and gives you permission to drive it. Would you say that when you use your spouse's key to open and access your spouse's car that you are "impersonating" your spouse? Have you broken any laws? I think not.

To take my analogy one step further, it may be that you are not an authorized driver on your spouse's auto insurance, and your spouse may be violating the terms of his or her insurance contract, but that is not the same thing as concluding that you are breaking any laws.

ahnathan
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Re: Vanguard Online Account Access for Spouse

Post by ahnathan » Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:13 am

You guys and gals are making this too hard and getting into the legal weeds. Lets just answer the question posed because its fairly simple.

On Vanguard, go to Account Maintenance and then Account Permissions. Follow the instructions. It takes about 5 minutes. You wife will have to log on to confirm the permission.

Her account will then appear on your log-in. You will have the ability to transfer into her IRA money from your bank account, paycheck or a brokerage account. You will have the ability to make fund selections. You will NOT have the ability to transfer money OUT of her IRA I believe, even to a joint brokerage account. But you can essentially manage the IRA for her.

I have this set up so that I see all of our accounts from my log in and my wife sees them as well from hers. I manage the finances but I wanted her to be able to see everything without having to go through me. The entire process took me about 9 minutes.

Nowizard
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Re: Vanguard Online Account Access for Spouse

Post by Nowizard » Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:56 am

Our joint account and individual accounts are all listed together. When I log in, I see all of them. She had little interest for quite awhile and would very occasionally look over my shoulder when I logged in and knew where to find my passwords. She does call Vanguard herself when making a withdrawal or deposit into her accounts since I am not allowed to do so. I do not know if I could make a deposit or withdrawal on-line without her knowledge. Frankly, I don't know if she has a specific, additional password, doubt it, but she can easily access any of our Vanguard accounts with ease.

Tim

tibbitts
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Re: Vanguard Online Account Access for Spouse

Post by tibbitts » Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:54 am

Soon2BXProgrammer wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:49 am
mptfan wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 10:33 am
Soon2BXProgrammer wrote:
Fri Nov 30, 2018 9:46 am
she will need to get online access to that account under her own ID.. it is against the law for you to use her account.
What law is that?
maybe not the law, but i believe it is in the account access agreement that you "click through" with vanguard, that you won't provide your account information to anyone else. blah blah blah blah.

it isn't too hard once she has an account, for you to be an authorized agent, and it show up in your login.
I believe there is something to that in the agreement but that's far from being "against the law."

The problem isn't setting up agent authorization at Vanguard - it's that you have to do it using a unique procedure at each of the twenty-seven financial institutions you do business with. That's a lot of work that most people wont' do.

Soon2BXProgrammer
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Re: Vanguard Online Account Access for Spouse

Post by Soon2BXProgrammer » Sat Dec 01, 2018 8:55 am

mptfan wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 6:47 am

This may not be a perfect analogy, but imagine your spouse owns a car and he or she gives you the key to that car and gives you permission to drive it. Would you say that when you use your spouse's key to open and access your spouse's car that you are "impersonating" your spouse? Have you broken any laws? I think not.
Actually on this topic. my wife was driving my car, that is registered to only to me.. she went through a red light camera. and they mailed ME a ticket. I was able to get it dismissed, as i claimed i couldn't drive the car as I was at work, therefore it wasn't me. They couldn't prove it was me, because they didn't have a picture of the driver, and the vehicle itself can't break the law.

aristotelian
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Re: Vanguard Online Account Access for Spouse

Post by aristotelian » Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:07 am

Setting aside legality, it almost certainly vioates terms of service to impersonate your spouse. In the event of divorce or estate dispute it could look really bad if you lost a lot of money in their name.

Agent authorization is easy to do although my impression was that it requires a medallion signature guarantee.

That said, we don't do it. We decided it was important that she be involved in the finances at least enough to keep her logins up to date and contribute to her IRA once a year. I would advise that she simply go online and establish as userID and call Vanguard if you have any trouble.

SixAlpha
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Re: Vanguard Online Account Access for Spouse

Post by SixAlpha » Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:16 am

aristotelian wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 9:07 am
Setting aside legality, it almost certainly vioates terms of service to impersonate your spouse. In the event of divorce or estate dispute it could look really bad if you lost a lot of money in their name.

Agent authorization is easy to do although my impression was that it requires a medallion signature guarantee.

That said, we don't do it. We decided it was important that she be involved in the finances at least enough to keep her logins up to date and contribute to her IRA once a year. I would advise that she simply go online and establish as userID and call Vanguard if you have any trouble.
We did the agent authorization on each of our accounts earlier this year for this very reason. It's VERY easy, does require a notary but NOT medallion signature. Now when I log in to VG I see all of my spouse's accounts and can make transactions without raising any red flags. Absolutely worth the few minutes of paperwork.

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SpringMan
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Re: Vanguard Online Account Access for Spouse

Post by SpringMan » Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:18 am

I had setup access to my spouse's account but in the process of Vanguard converting our mutual fund accounts to brokerage accounts, this access was lost. To remedy Vanguard sent out the necessary form which requires notarization and two signatures. I live in Michigan and my bank insisted the the notary could also be a witness which may be true in Michigan but not Pennsylvania where Vanguard is headquartered. Vanguard rejected and required I get two separate witness signatures in addition to the notary. I finally got total access, just a heads up. In our case no medallion signature guarantee was needed..
Best Wishes, SpringMan

Silk McCue
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Re: Vanguard Online Account Access for Spouse

Post by Silk McCue » Sat Dec 01, 2018 10:41 am

ahnathan wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 7:13 am
You guys and gals are making this too hard and getting into the legal weeds. Lets just answer the question posed because its fairly simple.

On Vanguard, go to Account Maintenance and then Account Permissions. Follow the instructions. It takes about 5 minutes. You wife will have to log on to confirm the permission.

Her account will then appear on your log-in. You will have the ability to transfer into her IRA money from your bank account, paycheck or a brokerage account. You will have the ability to make fund selections. You will NOT have the ability to transfer money OUT of her IRA I believe, even to a joint brokerage account. But you can essentially manage the IRA for her.

I have this set up so that I see all of our accounts from my log in and my wife sees them as well from hers. I manage the finances but I wanted her to be able to see everything without having to go through me. The entire process took me about 9 minutes.
Thanks ahnathan. "We" just did this between our two accounts after seeing your post. The process was extremely quick and painless.

Cheers

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