What was your experience inheriting assets held at Vanguard?

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Dale_G
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What was your experience inheriting assets held at Vanguard?

Post by Dale_G » Sat May 26, 2018 10:10 pm

I am not doing the inheriting, but if there is anything leftover after I am gone, my heirs will have the experience. My question is: How did it go?

Dale
Volatility is my friend

letsgobobby
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Re: What was your experience inheriting assets held at Vanguard?

Post by letsgobobby » Sat May 26, 2018 10:25 pm

Dale_G wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 10:10 pm
I am not doing the inheriting, but if there is anything leftover after I am gone, my heirs will have the experience. My question is: How did it go?

Dale
Good. Like everything else, they are slow and methodical and very professional. In general I found almost all institution inheritance/decedent departments to be quite good. US Treasury of course was the worst, just because the paperwork requirements are so confusing and so onerous.

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Taylor Larimore
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Re: What was your experience inheriting assets held at Vanguard?

Post by Taylor Larimore » Sat May 26, 2018 10:26 pm

Dale_G wrote:
Sat May 26, 2018 10:10 pm
I am not doing the inheriting, but if there is anything leftover after I am gone, my heirs will have the experience. My question is: How did it go?

Dale
Dale:

Pat, my wife of 62 years, died June 7, 2013. I inherited her IRA and 1/2 our taxable portfolio. All funds were with Vanguard. I had no difficulty transferring ownership. I am glad that all our securities were with one good company.

Best wishes.
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

Gnirk
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Re: What was your experience inheriting assets held at Vanguard?

Post by Gnirk » Sat May 26, 2018 11:02 pm

My one really big disappointment and frustration in Vanguard was when my brother and I inherited our mom’s accounts. They were in her revocable trust, I was both the trustee ( had been for a long time) and executor of her estate. The specialist I worked with never returned my calls, “misplaced” paperwork that I had sent by priority mail, with signature and return receipt required...twice! And she was the only person I’ve worked with at Vanguard whose voicemail said “ I will return your call at MY convenience.” Guess it was never convenient for her because she never returned my calls. :annoyed :annoyed :annoyed

jebmke
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Re: What was your experience inheriting assets held at Vanguard?

Post by jebmke » Sat May 26, 2018 11:17 pm

Very smoothly. My BIL had his assets at VG. When he died, the re-titled the accounts immediately to his estate. As personal representative, my spouse had access while the estate was being probated. Once the estate was ready to distribute they transferred the assets equally to her name and her sisters name.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

DarthSage
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Re: What was your experience inheriting assets held at Vanguard?

Post by DarthSage » Sun May 27, 2018 6:33 am

My MIL died last year, and she had various accounts at three places--T. Rowe Price, Vanguard, and Merrill Lynch. Of the three, Vanguard was the worst in terms of losing paperwork, delays in cutting checks, and so forth.

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Re: What was your experience inheriting assets held at Vanguard?

Post by UpperNwGuy » Sun May 27, 2018 6:49 am

This is an interesting thread. Hopefully, I have two or three more decades to live, but all of my funds are at Vanguard, and I have wondered how a non-brick-and-mortar brokerage would handle all the paperwork associated with passing my assets on to my children.

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burt
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Re: What was your experience inheriting assets held at Vanguard?

Post by burt » Sun May 27, 2018 6:58 am

Myself and 2 siblings inherited Vanguard funds last year. One phone call, filled out forms, sent forms, accounts created and funds transferred.
No problems.

burt

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munemaker
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Re: What was your experience inheriting assets held at Vanguard?

Post by munemaker » Sun May 27, 2018 7:09 am

DarthSage wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 6:33 am
My MIL died last year, and she had various accounts at three places--T. Rowe Price, Vanguard, and Merrill Lynch. Of the three, Vanguard was the worst in terms of losing paperwork, delays in cutting checks, and so forth.
I didn't do the inheriting but DW was executrix. Estate had an account at Vanguard and two other fund companies. I don't remember the details but the other two did things the same way and Vanguard's was a little more difficult, and yes, the check did take a little longer.

fourwheelcycle
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Re: What was your experience inheriting assets held at Vanguard?

Post by fourwheelcycle » Sun May 27, 2018 7:56 am

I was POA for my aunt and executor of her estate. I moved all of her assets to Vanguard and when she died Vanguard worked with me to distribute her assets to her heirs with no problems. I distributed most of her assets within a month after she died and I distributed the balance six months later after I had filed her final tax returns and waited to be sure all of her bills had appeared.

I am currently POA and executor for my 96 year old father and I have also moved his assets to Vanguard. I have talked to Vanguard's "Transition" office and they have reviewed the steps I will need to take to distribute his assets when the time comes. The steps are very straightforward and I do not expect any problems or delays. According to my father, I will not have to worry about all this for at least six or eight more years.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: What was your experience inheriting assets held at Vanguard?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Sun May 27, 2018 8:04 am

I was trustee of my father's trust and personal representative for his will. All accounts except one local account were held at Vanguard.

No issues at all with any of his accounts, local or Vanguard.

Broken Man 1999
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aristotelian
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Re: What was your experience inheriting assets held at Vanguard?

Post by aristotelian » Sun May 27, 2018 12:29 pm

My kids were TOD beneficiaries on my uncle's accounts. Transfer was painless once we had the death certificate.

HoleInTheAir
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Re: What was your experience inheriting assets held at Vanguard?

Post by HoleInTheAir » Sun May 27, 2018 12:33 pm

What do they do in a situation where you have say - a taxable account, two Roths, and two Traditionals - split between two heirs? Do the funds get liquidated half in all accounts and transferred that way?

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Dale_G
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Re: What was your experience inheriting assets held at Vanguard?

Post by Dale_G » Sun May 27, 2018 12:54 pm

The individual funds do not get liquidated. The fund shares in each account get divided and are moved "in kind" to accounts properly set up accounts of the beneficiaries.

Dale
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PoundCake
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Re: What was your experience inheriting assets held at Vanguard?

Post by PoundCake » Sun May 27, 2018 1:43 pm

My experience with Vanguard and inherited assets was pretty rotten; the posts are on this thread:

viewtopic.php?t=245736

By contrast, and as you can see from the posts above mine (on the current thread), many people have had good experiences. If you read the customer service posts on bogleheads over time, I think it might be most accurate to say that the customer service at Vanguard can be inconsistent. Perhaps the best thing you can do for your beneficiaries is leave them an accurate outline of your assets. Without that -- and I think this would likely be true in dealing with any bank or investment firm -- the process is just that much more difficult.
Last edited by PoundCake on Sun May 27, 2018 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sidney
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Re: What was your experience inheriting assets held at Vanguard?

Post by Sidney » Sun May 27, 2018 1:47 pm

PoundCake wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 1:43 pm
. Perhaps the best thing you can do for your beneficiaries is leave them an accurate outline of your assets.
I send an updated list to my lawyer once a year (or sooner if something major changes).
I always wanted to be a procrastinator.

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Re: What was your experience inheriting assets held at Vanguard?

Post by Alan S. » Sun May 27, 2018 2:46 pm

When it comes to efficiency of the holding custodian at the time of death, I cite an analogy from the sports world:

"It's not WHO you play, it's when you play 'em".

Holds very true for specialty depts. in large institutions and for large institutions themselves. While VG has confessed to some of their service issues recently, they are very likely to clean up some of the problems. So it depends on WHEN you pass, as much as where you place an account unless the two are close in time.

Congratulations to the OP for asking this question. Very few people think to consider the problems their heirs might have in settling their estate when conducting business with the holders of the assets. That said, the ability of the heirs to effectively handle the transactions is also a factor, perhaps a larger factor.

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burt
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Re: What was your experience inheriting assets held at Vanguard?

Post by burt » Sun May 27, 2018 5:35 pm

After reading several threads regarding Vanguard customer service....
I'm sure some of the issues are the fault of Vanguard.
I'm also sure some of the issues are the fault of the investor.

If your stuff is complicated... It's your job to uncomplicate it.

burt

Mitchell777
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Re: What was your experience inheriting assets held at Vanguard?

Post by Mitchell777 » Sun May 27, 2018 5:43 pm

When my mother passed it went smoothly. I've had other recent interactions with Vanguard customer service that did not go so smoothly, but the inheritance seemed to go through a separate dept and they were experienced. They will ask questions and require info, which they should.

PhilosophyAndrew
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Re: What was your experience inheriting assets held at Vanguard?

Post by PhilosophyAndrew » Sun May 27, 2018 5:51 pm

It took Vanguard six weeks to transfer inherited mutual funds to Fidelity (something T. Rowe Price did in a single business day after receiving the paperwork), and an additional four months to send Fidelity correct cost basis information for the taxable portion.

It was a thoroughly unimpressive performance. Vanguard’s “cost basis team” seeemed especially overwhelmed and incompetent.

Andy.
Last edited by PhilosophyAndrew on Sun May 27, 2018 6:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.

jebmke
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Re: What was your experience inheriting assets held at Vanguard?

Post by jebmke » Sun May 27, 2018 5:55 pm

It is best not to rely on the institutions for cost basis. In cases like this you may not have any choice but for my own assets I keep my own records.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.

PhilosophyAndrew
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Re: What was your experience inheriting assets held at Vanguard?

Post by PhilosophyAndrew » Sun May 27, 2018 6:22 pm

jebmke wrote:
Sun May 27, 2018 5:55 pm
It is best not to rely on the institutions for cost basis. In cases like this you may not have any choice but for my own assets I keep my own records.
There was no substantive issue in understanding the value at date of death. Vanguard eported a crazy cost basis that was different from both the value at the date of death and the value at the time of acquisition by the decedent — Vanguard and I both acknowledgrdn what the correct cost basis was, but Vanguard said that they could not correct their mistake due to limitations in their software.

They did finally fix the cost basis after several months

This left such a bad taste in my mouth that I closed my Vanguard accounts that I had held for 30 years. I’ve never experienced anyproblems — large or small — with the Fidelity accounts I’ve also held for decades.

Andy.

Katie
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Re: What was your experience inheriting assets held at Vanguard?

Post by Katie » Sun May 27, 2018 9:58 pm

I had a very positive experience.

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tuningfork
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Re: What was your experience inheriting assets held at Vanguard?

Post by tuningfork » Sun May 27, 2018 10:29 pm

We had one issue with poor customer service. The executor played weeks of phone tag trying to speak to the assigned Vanguard rep in person. The Vanguard rep would leave a message on her landline, she would leave a message asking him to call her cell since she was never home during Vanguard's business hours, but he kept calling her landline and leaving messages. This went on for at least a month. Once they finally were able to talk, assets transferred pretty quickly.

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Re: What was your experience inheriting assets held at Vanguard?

Post by Big Dog » Sun May 27, 2018 10:47 pm

all of mom's accounts were PoD/ToD, and the transfer was fast and easy. I already had a Vanguard account so they just transferred half of mom's balance as soon as they received a death cert. My sister (who recieved the other half of the balances), opened a Vanguard account while waiting for the death cert and then Vanguard transferred her half into the new account. Easy peasy.

fwiw: the most difficult transfer was from the full service, brick and mortar brokerage.

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